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When I look at Vanguard funds--particularly index funds, I see things like "turnover rate 44%" or "88." What do these mean?
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From Vanguard's site:
"An indication of trading activity during the past year. Portfolios with high turnover rates incur higher transaction costs and are more likely to distribute capital gains (which are taxable to nonretirement accounts). "

Here's the definition of Turnover rate from Morningstar which has a bit more detail:
"This is a measure of the fund's trading activity which is computed by taking the lesser of purchases or sales (excluding all securities with maturities of less than one year) and dividing by average monthly net assets. A turnover ratio of 100% or more does not necessarily suggest that all securities in the portfolio have been traded. In practical terms, the resulting percentage loosely represents the percentage of the portfolio's holdings that have changed over the past year.

A low turnover figure (20% to 30%) would indicate a buy-and-hold strategy. High turnover (more than 100%) would indicate an investment strategy involving considerable buying and selling of securities.

Morningstar does not calculate turnover ratios. The figure is culled directly from the financial highlights of the fund's annual report. "

Does that answer the question?

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