Vanguard Clients Miss Some Morning Trades as Website Down

Clients of Vanguard Group Inc., the biggest U.S. mutual-fund firm, weren’t able to access their accounts to make trades for a 20-minute period this morning.

“We had a system outage this morning that did impact our shareholders’ ability to access their account-related data,” Katie Henderson, a spokeswoman for the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based company, said in a telephone interview. About 20,000 customers may have been trying to access their accounts at the time, said John Woerth, a Vanguard spokesman.

“All systems were back up and running normally with more than enough time to take orders before trades are made at 4 p.m,” Henderson said, referring to the time when mutual-fund transactions go into effect.

Vanguard, which manages almost $1.95 trillion in U.S. fund assets, is still trying to determine the reason for the interruption, according to Henderson. Mutual-fund investors were unable to access their accounts through the company’s website or call center. Some clients with brokerage accounts were able to reach the company by phone.

Vanguard, known for its low-cost index funds, attracted more money from investors in the first nine months of 2012 than it has in any full calendar year in its 38-year history, winning $113 billion in deposits in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds through September.

The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent today, reversing a gain of as much as 0.7 percent earlier as optimism about an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate faded. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent.

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