The Vanguard Group recently introduced financial planning software to help investors develop an appropriate asset allocation for their Vanguard portfolios.

Vanguard Navigator Plus, a Java-based interactive program, offers assistance in college, retirement, investment, and estate planning. It may be downloaded free from Vanguard's home page, www.vanguard.com.

The software lets investors compare their current asset allocation to software-generated suggestions, ranging from conservative to aggressive portfolios. After the investor selects an allocation, the software suggests specific Vanguard funds.

The software is designed to accommodate simple and complex investment scenarios, said Richard W. Stevens, a principal at Vanguard's personal financial services division which developed the software. Prior installments determined ideal asset classes for investors, but did not select individual funds."We thought that was clearly needed," Mr. Stevens said.

Vanguard of Valley Forge, Pa., has 109 funds and more than $380 billion of assets under management.

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