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As we all know, TMF believes that if you can't beat the S&P500, then at the very least you should put your money into an S&P500 Index fund. As a rusult of this concept, the portfolio screen on TMF allows you to show a comparison for each stock to the S&P500.

My problem deals with what the value they assign actually means.

For instance, 30% of my port is in the Vanguard 500 S&P Index fund. When looking at the chart for the fund vs. the S&P500 for the past 2 years, their graphs match perfectly. The Vanguard 500 shows that it has the same return as the S&P500, minus $10/year maint fee.

My confusion comes with the number that shows up in the column for %S&P500: as of today it is 45.67%. Shouldn't the value be 0, or a little less due to the maint fee?

The number they provide almost seems to be more of a function of time, not value. I started a Foolish Four Port about a month ago (20% of my port) and all four of the stocks show the same %S&P500: 1.94%, dispite the fact that CAT is one of those stocks and it is starting to move up fairly well.

Am I totally missing the point of what this number means? Any input would be appreciated.


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