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Taste how Vanguard does business

If you're wondering why one of the world's largest investment companies was selling coffee, here's the scoop. When you buy a great cup of coffee that's 15 the average price of coffee, you see for yourself that paying less means keeping more.*

That's how costs work with our mutual funds.
They cost 15 the industry average—just like our coffee.**


Sip and save

See what the price of a cup of coffee can teach you about investing costs.

Watch the videoWatch the video

How can Vanguard offer coffee mutual funds for less?

Our secret is simple: We offer our funds "at cost."*** That means you pay only what it costs us to run the funds, which happens to be—on average—15 as much as everyone else.

We can do this because we're the only company in the industry that's client-owned. We're owned by our funds and the funds are owned by the people who invest in them, people like you. We don't generate profits for private owners or stockholders. We return profits to you as cost savings.

Selling coffee for less is just a fun way to spread the word about costs.

Coffee Chart

Sip coffee while your savings brew

Saving a buck on coffee is a nice perk.
Potentially saving thousands on your investments is something to savor!

How it can all add up.

Industry average
Vanguard average
  • $300k
  • $250k
  • $200k
  • $150k
  • $100k
  • $50k
  • 10 YEARS
  • 20 YEARS
  • 30 YEARS

Costs matter, especially over time. If you invest $50,000 in a fund with the current average Vanguard expense ratio, in 30 years you could have $63,915 more than someone who invested in a fund with the industry average expense ratio.**

(This is a hypothetical scenario—it doesn't refer to any specific investment. It assumes a 6% annual rate of return with earnings being reinvested.)

Over time, letting your savings brew with lower expenses could help you save more.

*The industry average price for a cup of coffee is $1.48, based on a 2013 industry report from STUDYLOGIC LLC. Vanguard sold 8,237 cups of coffee during the tour at a price of $0.26 each. With this discount, people paid $10,049.14 less than they would have at a price of $1.48 (8,237 x $1.48 = $12,190.76; 8,237 x $0.26 = $2,141.62).

**Vanguard average expense ratio: 0.19%. Industry average expense ratio: 1.08%.
Sources: Vanguard and Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company, as of December 31, 2013.

***Vanguard provides its services to the Vanguard funds at-cost. Our funds cost you what they cost us.

†Vanguard is client-owned. As a client-owner, you own the funds that own Vanguard.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Fresh from the At-Cost Café


On the road with the
At-Cost Café

The Vanguard coffee truck toured a handful of U.S. cities last March and April, offering coffee for just 26¢ a cup to spread the word about why costs matter.

How much do people like their coffee?

Our 2014 tour highlights:

  • 3/18–3/20
    7 a.m.–3 p.m.

    Austin, TX
    Congress & 7th Ave.
    1,342 cups
  • 3/24–3/26
    7 a.m.–3 p.m.

    Atlanta, GA
    Atlantic Station
    1,208 cups
  • 3/31–4/2
    7 a.m.–3 p.m.

    Baltimore, MD
    Downtown Baltimore
    1,604 cups
  • 4/7–4/9
    7 a.m.–3 p.m.

    Boston, MA
    City Hall Plaza
    1,461 cups
  • 4/14–4/16
    7 a.m.–3 p.m.

    New York, NY
    Grand Central Terminal
    2,622 cups

We're here to help

New to Vanguard?
Call 877-809-8169

Vanguard client?
Call 800-952-7999

See what Vanguard offers 

Thirsty for more?

Compare the cost of a non-Vanguard fund to that of a similar Vanguard fund.


At-cost words of wisdom
Commentary: Life by a thousand small cuts





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