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Bill McNabb: Confidence amid the concern

October 15, 2013

By Bill McNabb, Vanguard Chairman and CEO

Like many Americans, I have been watching events in Washington with a mixture of concern and disappointment. It's difficult not to be frustrated when our elected leaders are unable—or unwilling—to find common ground.

Bill McNabbAnd yet, however the next few days and weeks play out, I have confidence in the long-term stability and resilience of the American economy, and of the financial markets. We have weathered many storms in the past, and we will weather whatever may come in the future.

I'm also confident that Vanguard clients will stay focused on the essentials of sound investing. Time and again, our shareholders have been tested by events—and time and again, they have met the challenge. With rare exceptions, Vanguard investors are able to put short-term market volatility in perspective. They possess the discipline to avoid making rash, impulsive decisions to sell (or buy) based on the latest headlines or market trends. That was true during the 1987 correction, it was true during the dot-com boom of the 1990s, it was true during the 2008 financial crisis, and it remains true today.

I believe our elected officials will make the decisions needed to avoid a federal government default. I believe the government's partial shutdown will be resolved sooner rather than later. And I believe that the American economy and our financial markets will grow and prosper over the long run. If I didn't, I wouldn't be in this line of work.

I want to assure our clients that Vanguard, as a company, is prepared to respond to developments in Washington and on Wall Street. We're paying close attention to the unfolding budget discussions, and we'll take steps as needed—and as appropriate—to manage our funds in their shareholders' best interests. As always, the Vanguard crew stands ready to answer questions, process transactions, and manage portfolios with the dedication and skill they're known for.

You've heard Vanguard tell investors to "stay the course" during many bouts of stormy weather. It has proved to be good advice in the past. I firmly believe it's the right advice today.


Note: All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of the money you invest. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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