Tom Lyndon caught up with Gus Sauter
CIO and one of the key people in the history of ETFs and low-cost index funds. He oversees the arm managing $1.6 trillion of assets.
Sauter said that in their experience, ETFs did not distort the marketplace.
Vanguard's CIO said:
We are in a difficult environment to invest. People are looking for something to blame, and ETFs have been successful. I think it's unwarranted. Morningstar showed there is no market impact from leveraged ETFs. Leveraged strategies can be implemented in a number of ways. It's the strategy that important, not the ETF structure.
He added that is important for investors to be educated so they know what they're getting into.
Lyndon asked Sauter why Vanguard funds are structured as separate share classes of existing index funds. Sauter explained:
The ETF share class helps preserve the integrity of the index funds. Like any mutual fund, we don't want investors coming and going, which boosts transaction costs. ETFs were a way to provide a place for traders. We always try to screen short-term investors out of the mutual fund share classes. ETFs are another arrow in the quiver. ETFs are also a great way for us to work with the intermediary community. ETFs are an attractive vehicle for financial advisors. It opened up a new market to us. The index funds already had critical mass in the portfolio. This makes the ETF easier to manage and the index funds have a long-term performance record.
Sauter, who plans to retire by end of 2012, said he loved everything he accomplished with Vanguard.
"Building an equity team here was the first thing I tackled.... I've been with the senior staff the past 15 years and I've enjoyed guiding the direction of Vanguard."
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