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Author: jbking Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76418  
Subject: Re: Vanguard Index 500 Date: 9/26/2001 3:12 PM
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Greetings Allen410,

My only experience was to put about 30K into their indexed 500 account about 3 yrs ago. If my math is correct, my increase in value as of today is about $65--or less than 1%. Please help me understand if that is correct and, if so, what is so great about it.

The 3 year annualized return is about .2% for the past 3 years so your Math is right. Now, did you know that 55% of mutual funds in the same category as VFINX did worse than that? VFINX is also only .01% off of the index each year for that time period while expenses should dictate it to be .18% off so the manager has done some great work there I think. Also, I'd note that 3 years is a fairly short period of time in terms of stock investing as TMF seems to suggest at least a 5 year period of investing while I prefer at least 10 years myself and on those time periods VFINX has bested 80% of its peers. If you take a look at Vanguard's Investment Planner and look at stock market returns over 5 year periods you should see this fairly broad range from -12.4% to +28.6% from years 1926-2000 which should mean that in the short run yes stocks can do poorly which is why most advocate using bonds if you have a short time horizon(See page 9 of http://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/bvip-pl.pdf for other lengths of time analyzed).

JB
(A VFINX shareholder)
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