VALLEY FORGE, Pa. – Vanguard Group has edged Fidelity Investments to become the nation’s biggest mutual-fund company. According to Competitrack Inc., an advertising tracking firm, Vanguard spent more than any other company on mutual-fund advertising. Vanguard has nearly half a trillion dollars in stock and bond funds and is “one of the few fund brands still attracting new investors. Vanguard has gained its status as “the biggest fund company because it has been able to keep assets and advertising at bull-market levels, while Fidelity and most major competitors have cut back,” Competitrack found. Company Spokesman Brian Mattes said Vanguard spent no more on ads, given its vastly larger size, than it did in the early 1990s – and that financial firms such as Schwab and Merrill Lynch, which sell much more than mutual funds, spend more overall today than Vanguard. Mattes said investors should be more interested in “Vanguard’s low fees,” which he said, “saved customers $6 billion last year compared with other funds.”

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