Despite erratic stock market performance in the second half of 1998, last year proved to be a good one for the sale of mutual funds in general and of Vanguard Group's funds in particular.

Long-term mutual funds had net sales of approximately $221 billion in 1998, according to Financial Research Corp. a Boston fund data tracking firm. Sales for the second half of the year were less than half the total for the first six months of 1998. Nevertheless, year-end sales still represented the fourth highest level in fund history, according to Financial Research's estimates.

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