Vanguard investors who have less than $10,000 to invest purchase Vanguard’s entry-level Investor shares . Vanguard offers investors the ability to “upgrade” their shares by purchasing Admiral shares once investors accumulate a given amount within certain mutual funds. Admiral shares have lower expense ratios than their Investor shares counterparts, allowing investors to keep more of their money. From Vanguard’s web site, to qualify to purchase Admiral shares you need to meet one of the following criteria:
- Invest $10,000 or more in most Vanguard index funds that offer Admiral Shares.
- Invest $50,000 or more in Vanguard actively managed funds that offer Admiral Shares.
An example of the difference between Investor shares and Admiral shares: The Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) mutual fund has an expense ratio of .18% while its Admiral shares equivalent, VTSAX, has an expense ratio of .06%.
If you invest with Vanguard and haven’t visited their web site in a while, you may be able to save yourself money by logging in and converting your Investor shares into Admiral shares. The conversion from Investor shares to Admiral shares is free, so it’s worth your time to check.