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See the inside front cover for important information about access to your fund’s annual and semiannual shareholder reports.
Annual Report | September 30, 2019
Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund
Please note: The opinions expressed in this report are just that—informed opinions. They should not be considered promises or advice. Also, please keep in mind that the information and opinions cover the period through the date on the front of this report. Of course, the risks of investing in your fund are spelled out in the prospectus.
Important information about access to shareholder reports
Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of your fund’s annual and semiannual shareholder reports will no longer be sent to you by mail, unless you specifically request them. Instead, you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted on the website and will be provided with a link to access the report.
If you have already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and do not need to take any action. You may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the fund electronically by contacting your financial intermediary (such as a broker-dealer or bank) or, if you invest directly with the fund, by calling Vanguard at one of the phone numbers on the back cover of this report or by logging on to vanguard.com.
You may elect to receive paper copies of all future shareholder reports free of charge. If you invest through a financial intermediary, you can contact the intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies. If you invest directly with the fund, you can call Vanguard at one of the phone numbers on the back cover of this report or log on to vanguard.com. Your election to receive paper copies will apply to all the funds you hold through an intermediary or directly with Vanguard.
A Note From Our Chairman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Your Fund’s Performance at a Glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
About Your Fund’s Expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Performance Summary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Financial Statements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Recent volatility in financial markets— affecting stocks, bonds, and commodities— has been a good reminder of the wise old adage, “Never keep all your eggs in one basket.” Maintaining balance and diversification in your investment portfolio can help to both limit risk and set you up for long-term success.
It’s understandable why some investors might become complacent after a long market run-up like the one that lifted stock prices, especially U.S. stock prices, in the years following the global financial crisis. But failing to rebalance regularly can leave a portfolio with a much different mix of assets than intended and, often, more risk than intended.
Balance across and diversification within asset classes are powerful tools for managing risk and achieving your investment goals. A portfolio’s allocation will determine a large portion of its long- term return and also the majority of its volatility risk. A well-diversified portfolio is less vulnerable to significant swings in the performance of any one segment of the asset classes in which it invests.
Balance and diversification will never eliminate the risk of loss, nor will they guarantee positive returns in a declining market. But they should reduce the chance that you’ll suffer disproportionate losses in one particular high-flying asset class or sector when it comes back to earth. And exposure to all key market components should give you at least some participation in the sectors that are performing best at any given time.
Vanguard is committed to helping you achieve balance and diversification in your portfolios to help meet your invest- ment goals. We thank you for your continued loyalty.
Mortimer J. Buckley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer October 14, 2019
A Note From Our Chairman
Tim Buckley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
• For the 12 months ended September 30, 2019, Vanguard Short-Term Inflation- Protected Securities Index Fund returned 3.36% for Investor Shares, tracking its benchmark (+3.44%). The 30-day SEC yield for Investor Shares, a proxy for a fund’s potential annualized rate of income, declined 38 basis points over the period, to 0.41%. (A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.)
• Prices of regular U.S. Treasury securities rose amid signs of slowing global growth, an escalation in trade disputes, flare-ups in geopolitical tensions, and continued uncertainty about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Against this background, several major central banks, including the Federal Reserve, turned more accommodative in the latter part of the period.
• The gap between nominal yields and yields of Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS)—considered a measure of the expected annualized rate of inflation over the next five years—fell 70 basis points, to 1.34%. TIPS underperformed regular Treasuries, as they typically do when inflation expectations fall.
Your Fund’s Performance at a Glance
Market Barometer Average Annual Total Returns Periods Ended September 30, 2019
One Year Three Years Five Years
Russell 1000 Index (Large-caps) 3.87% 13.19% 10.62%
Russell 2000 Index (Small-caps) -8.89 8.23 8.19
Russell 3000 Index (Broad U.S. market) 2.92 12.83 10.44
FTSE All-World ex US Index (International) -1.12 6.46 3.24
Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (Broad taxable market) 10.30% 2.92% 3.38%
Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index (Broad tax-exempt market) 8.55 3.19 3.66
FTSE Three-Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index 2.36 1.52 0.95
Consumer Price Index 1.71% 2.07% 1.53%
About Your Fund’s Expenses
As a shareholder of the fund, you incur ongoing costs, which include costs for portfolio management, administrative services, and shareholder reports (like this one), among others. Operating expenses, which are deducted from a fund’s gross income, directly reduce the investment return of the fund.
A fund’s expenses are expressed as a percentage of its average net assets. This figure is known as the expense ratio. The following examples are intended to help you understand the ongoing costs (in dollars) of investing in your fund and to compare these costs with those of other mutual funds. The examples are based on an investment of $1,000 made at the beginning of the period shown and held for the entire period.
The accompanying table illustrates your fund’s costs in two ways:
• Based on actual fund return. This section helps you to estimate the actual expenses that you paid over the period. The ”Ending Account Value“ shown is derived from the fund‘s actual return, and the third column shows the dollar amount that would have been paid by an investor who started with $1,000 in the fund. You may use the information here, together with the amount you invested, to estimate the expenses that you paid over the period.
To do so, simply divide your account value by $1,000 (for example, an $8,600 account value divided by $1,000 = 8.6), then multiply the result by the number given for your fund under the heading ”Expenses Paid During Period.“
• Based on hypothetical 5% yearly return. This section is intended to help you compare your fund‘s costs with those of other mutual funds. It assumes that the fund had a yearly return of 5% before expenses, but that the expense ratio is unchanged. In this case—because the return used is not the fund’s actual return—the results do not apply to your investment. The example is useful in making comparisons because the Securities and Exchange Commission requires all mutual funds to calculate expenses based on a 5% return. You can assess your fund’s costs by comparing this hypothetical example with the hypothetical examples that appear in shareholder reports of other funds.
Note that the expenses shown in the table are meant to highlight and help you compare ongoing costs only and do not reflect transaction costs incurred by the fund for buying and selling securities. Further, the expenses do not include any purchase, redemption, or account service fees described in the fund prospectus. If such fees were applied to your account, your costs would be higher. Your fund does not carry a “sales load.”
The calculations assume no shares were bought or sold during the period. Your actual costs may have been higher or lower, depending on the amount of your investment and the timing of any purchases or redemptions.
You can find more information about the fund’s expenses, including annual expense ratios, in the Financial Statements section of this report. For additional information on operating expenses and other shareholder costs, please refer to your fund’s current prospectus.
Six Months Ended September 30, 2019
Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund
Beginning Account Value
Ending Account Value
Expenses Paid During