The Vanguard Group is about to simplify the names of dozens of its funds in what some suggest is the largest single effort to rename funds within the same complex without a merger of fund companies.

Beginning Oct. 27, more than 40 Vanguard funds will change to shorter names which generally reduce technical jargon and more clearly identify investment objectives. In many instances, the word "portfolio" will simply be replaced with the word "fund." In other cases, Vanguard will drop words which seem to convey little information to investors. For example, the "Fixed Income Securities Fund -- Long-Term U.S. Treasury Portfolio" will become the "Long-Term Treasury Fund." The "Specialized Portfolios -- REIT Index Portfolio" will become the "REIT Index Fund."

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