Vanguard's re-energized International Explorer Fund has a new minimum initial investment amount - $25,000. The increase from the previous $10,000 initial amount was part of "an effort to curtail substantial cash inflows," the company said.

"We have raised investment minimums of other Vanguard funds in the past, and it has proven to be a successful method for stemming cash inflows and protecting the interests of long-term shareholders," Vanguard Chairman John J. Brennan said.

Raising the minimum was discussed and eventually decided upon in a meeting between Vanguard and its investment advisor.

Managed by Schroder Investment Management North America, which Vanguard adopted the fund from in July 2002, the fund staged a rousing comeback in 2003, posting a 57.4% return and finishing in the top 30 percentile of its Morningstar category.

It was the first positive return for the fund since 1999, when it boasted a 90.3% gain.

Pre-emptive action is probably one of the key reasons that Vanguard is the No. 2 mutual fund company in the United States. It has, in the past two years, closed the High-Yield Corporate Fund, which has since reopened, and its Precious Metals Fund, which is still closed.

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