Vanguard Is Splitting 3 ETFs… But Why?

Vanguard had a funny announcement today that I had to comment on (from

Vanguard announces share split for three exchange-traded funds

June 04, 2008 – Vanguard announced today a two-for-one split of shares of Vanguard® Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), and Vanguard Extended Market ETF (VXF). The conventional shares of the funds are not affected by this split.

The share split entitles each shareholder of record at the close of business on June 13, 2008 to receive one additional share for every share of the ETF held on that date. The additional shares are expected to be distributed to shareholders on June 17. The shares will trade at the new split-adjusted prices beginning June 18.

I need someone to explain this one to me.  After all, splitting a stock does absolutely nothing for the fundamentals of the stock.  You might argue there is some emotional, momentum-based advantage when go-go growth stocks do it, but this is an index fund.  And a Vanguard fund to boot!  I just can’t imagine the Vanguard trustees chasing momentum money, or expecting momentum money to flow to an index fund just because it’s splitting.

There is that old argument that you want to keep share prices low so “small investors” can buy a “round lot” of 100 shares… but that logic went out the door with odd lots and discount brokers about 30 years ago.

So why did they do it?  Are they trying to capture small investments under $100 with the ETF?  Brokers like E*Trade already offer free dividend reinvestment on ETFs, which allows you to buy partial shares.

Anyway, if you own any of these funds, note it in your calendar, Quicken, etc.


Slowly But Surely… Resurrecting My Home Machine

Definitely not at full strength, but slowly resurrecting my home workstation from the catastrophic failure of my PowerMac G5 last Friday.

Tonight I got a brand new (OK, well, refurbished) 2.8Ghz 8-core Mac Pro from the Apple Store.  I managed to use Time Machine to resurrect the boot drive from my G5 onto it, which seems to have worked well so far.  I’m a little nervous though about how many PPC items might have been moved/executing as system extensions, etc, on the new Intel-based Mac Pro.

I also decided to go wireless with this machine on the Keyboard & Mouse.  The keyboard is fine, but the bluetooth mighty mouse is a little… off.  Not sure what it is, but I’m debating going back to my USB Logitech.

In any case, I likely won’t get a lot of blog posts in this week, but a few may crop up here and there.  I’m excited to put the new machine through its paces, but that’ll have to wait until I get my photo library back online, install Photoshop CS3, and start ripping movies again.  I hear that this machine can rip a 2-hour movie to MP4 in about 40 minutes, which would be approximately 10x faster than my old G5.

BTW Despite promises from the Apple Store on Saturday that they would run diagnostics and tell me the problem with my G5 by Monday, I had to call them today (Wednesday) just to find out that they still can’t get it to boot.  They think it is the power supply, which is good news because that means $300 could net me a machine that will sell for $1200.  If it’s the logic board, then I’m hosed, and I’ll likely sell the box, sans hard drives, on eBay for parts.

In any case, I’ll post at the end of this ordeal about the Mac Pro and the transition, and what is better/worse about the new setup.  I have to say, I haven’t been this excited since… I got the PowerMac G5 4 years ago.