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Consider this figure: $5 ­trillion. That’s how much Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments collectively manage, according to the companies’ most recent figures. It’s no exaggeration to say that the financial ­security of millions of Americans rests heavily on these two behemoths.

Fidelity is the largest provider of 401(k) and related retirement-plan services, and it long thrived with actively managed mutual funds and star managers. Vanguard has always been the omega to ­Fidelity’s alpha—and in recent years it surpassed its rival in assets under management (Vanguard now oversees $3 trillion). Vanguard’s founder, John Bogle, of course, was the avatar of low-fee, passively managed index funds (and later ETFs). Bogle’s philosophy has become so popular that it has reshaped an entire generation of investors and eventually pushed even Fidelity to follow Vanguard’s lead and offer its own index funds.

Company Info

William McNabb (Vanguard); Abigail Johnson (Fidelity)
HQ location
Malvern, Pa. (Vanguard); Boston (Fidelity)