Difference between revisions of "Using mutual funds and ETFs for short-term savings (1 year)"

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In investing, we make personal choices about how much [[Risk and return: an introduction|risk]] we are willing to take if we think we can get higher return in exchange. '''{{PAGENAME}}''' compares historical performance of similar funds that are appropriate for short-term savings. Comparisons are made by measuring a fund's level of risk, also known as ''volatility'', and is characterized by the fund's [[wp:Standard deviation| standard deviation]] (σ).
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In investing, we make personal choices about how much [[Risk and return: an introduction|risk]] we are willing to take if we think we can get higher return in exchange. '''{{PAGENAME}}''' compares historical performance of similar funds that are appropriate for short-term savings.<ref group="Note"> John Bogle, in his 1994 classic, ''Bogle on Mutual Funds'', suggested using a low-cost short-term treasury bond fund, with its government backed credit rating, as a prudent substitute for a money market fund for investment reserves distinct from savings and transaction account balances. (p.132 in the text)</ref> It is simply a useful metric for comparing risk among similar funds.</strike>  Comparisons are made by measuring a fund's level of risk, also known as ''volatility'', and is characterized by the fund's [[wp:Standard deviation| standard deviation]] (σ).
  
<strike>Note that standard deviation is not used to compare performance between different fund types. For example, it can not answer questions like "How much risk am I taking if I put money for a near term objective into a bond fund instead of a [[money market]] fund?"<ref group="Note"> John Bogle, in his 1994 classic, ''Bogle on Mutual Funds'', suggested using a low-cost short-term treasury bond fund, with its government backed credit rating, as a prudent substitute for a money market fund for investment reserves distinct from savings and transaction account balances. (p.132 in the text)</ref> It is simply a useful metric for comparing risk among similar funds.</strike>
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<strike>Note that standard deviation is not used to compare performance between different fund types. For example, it can not answer questions like "How much risk am I taking if I put money for a near term objective into a bond fund instead of a [[money market]] fund?"
  
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==

Revision as of 20:53, 5 November 2019

In investing, we make personal choices about how much risk we are willing to take if we think we can get higher return in exchange. Using mutual funds and ETFs for short-term savings (1 year) compares historical performance of similar funds that are appropriate for short-term savings.[Note 1] It is simply a useful metric for comparing risk among similar funds. Comparisons are made by measuring a fund's level of risk, also known as volatility, and is characterized by the fund's standard deviation (σ).

Note that standard deviation is not used to compare performance between different fund types. For example, it can not answer questions like "How much risk am I taking if I put money for a near term objective into a bond fund instead of a money market fund?"

Overview

In this article, we calculate some other measures of risk by calculating what would have happened to an investment of $10,000, held for short periods of time, in a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF). You might do this in hope of making more than you would have made in a money market mutual fund, and accepting the possibility of sometimes making less.[Note 2] The possibility of making less is depicted in two ways:

1) What percentage of the time would you have made less than in a money market fund? We chose VMMXX, the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund, because it is one of the oldest money market fund and gave us a long period of comparison. We also show what percentage of the time you would have actually lost money--ended up with less than $10,000 at the end of the time period--and what percentage of time you would have failed to keep up with inflation.

2) It's important to know not just when a fund or ETF underperformed a money market mutual fund, but by how much. In the case of short-term funds, the losses, when they did occur, were so small that some might call them negligible To quantify this, we present two numbers. One is the average loss that occurred in those periods in which losses did occur; and the other is the largest loss that ever occurred within the body of data that was used.

Notice that a high probability of underperforming may not be important at all. If two investments have the same return and volatility, but just fluctuate randomly with respect to each other, you would expect each of them to underperform the other about 50% of the time.

We have chosen to present data going back for as far as Morningstar has data. As a result, there are two caveats. First, the data range shown for each fund is different and results for different funds cannot be directly compared. For example, the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Fund, VFISX, beat VMMXX by an average of $117.10 while the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index fund, VGSH, only beat it by $33.17. But this is almost entirely due to VGSH's inception in 2009 versus VFISX's inception in 1991. If we restrict our view of VFISX to the same years as VGSH, the benefit for VFISX was only $44.05. Second, this underlines the problem with all historical data, which is that the present time--and thus the short-term future--may be quite different from the historical averages.

Example listing for draft page development

This is an example listing for a single fund. Please use this section to make changes to illustrate your ideas for improvement. Remove this section when the draft page is complete.

VARIX: Vanguard Total Gastropod Index

VARIX: Vanguard Total Gastropod Index
6/1992 - 6/2019; 325 months total
(limited by range of available data for VARIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 314
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1094.91
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 314 12-month periods 10.95%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 14.53%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VARIX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VARIX made less than VMMXX 71/314 = 22.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 71 periods -$1613.55
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4551.13
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$832.52
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VARIX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VARIX Dollars
Number of periods in which VARIX lost money 61/314 = 19.4%
Average loss over those 61 periods -$1540.89
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4317.88
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1094.91
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VARIX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VARIX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VARIX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 71/314 = 22.6%
Average real loss over those 71 periods -$1515.22
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4341.50
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$870.14
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VARIX 3/2008 - 2/2009


Money market

VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market

VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market
9/1981 - 6/2019; 454 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMFXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 443
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $406.68
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 443 12-month periods 4.07%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.94%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VMFXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VMFXX made less than VMMXX 420/443 = 94.8%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 420 periods -$14.83
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/1981 - 8/1982 -$120.91
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$13.91
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMFXX vs VMMXX, 9/1981 - 8/1982
VMFXX Dollars
Number of periods in which VMFXX lost money 0/443 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2011 - 10/2012 +$0.93
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$406.68
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMFXX 11/2011 - 10/2012
VMFXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VMFXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 153/443 = 34.5%
Average real loss over those 153 periods -$150.62
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.48
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$135.44
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMFXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity

BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity
7/1989 - 6/2019; 360 months total
(limited by range of available data for BTFXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 349
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $214.36
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 349 12-month periods 2.14%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.73%
BTFXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which BTFXX made less than VMMXX 326/349 = 93.4%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 326 periods -$91.21
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2006 - 8/2007 -$523.01
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$84.14
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BTFXX vs VMMXX, 9/2006 - 8/2007
BTFXX Dollars
Number of periods in which BTFXX lost money 143/349 = 41.0%
Average loss over those 143 periods $0.00
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2014 - 11/2015 $0.00
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$214.36
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BTFXX 12/2014 - 11/2015
BTFXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which BTFXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 190/349 = 54.4%
Average real loss over those 190 periods -$209.51
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2007 - 7/2008 -$560.01
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$28.02
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BTFXX 8/2007 - 7/2008

VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market

VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market
2/1993 - 6/2019; 317 months total
(limited by range of available data for VUSXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 306
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $248.30
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 306 12-month periods 2.48%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.61%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VUSXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VUSXX made less than VMMXX 254/306 = 83.0%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 254 periods -$16.58
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$70.89
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$12.86
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUSXX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VUSXX Dollars
Number of periods in which VUSXX lost money 0/306 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2014 - 8/2015 +$0.93
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$248.30
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUSXX 9/2014 - 8/2015
VUSXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VUSXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 154/306 = 50.3%
Average real loss over those 154 periods -$150.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.31
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$25.05
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUSXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market

VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
8/1975 - 6/2019; 527 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMMXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 516
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $500.56
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 516 12-month periods 5.01%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.11%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VMMXX Dollars
Number of periods in which VMMXX lost money 0/516 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2014 - 3/2015 +$0.96
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$500.56
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMMXX 4/2014 - 3/2015
VMMXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VMMXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 195/516 = 37.8%
Average real loss over those 195 periods -$153.96
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$381.34
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$137.38
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMMXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves

TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves
12/1993 - 6/2019; 307 months total
(limited by range of available data for TSCXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 296
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $247.65
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 296 12-month periods 2.48%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.64%
TSCXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which TSCXX made less than VMMXX 275/296 = 92.9%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 275 periods -$12.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2016 - 2/2017 -$37.36
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$11.44
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period TSCXX vs VMMXX, 3/2016 - 2/2017
TSCXX Dollars
Number of periods in which TSCXX lost money 0/296 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2009 - 9/2010 +$0.83
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$247.65
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period TSCXX 10/2009 - 9/2010
TSCXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which TSCXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 155/296 = 52.4%
Average real loss over those 155 periods -$154.59
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.84
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$25.62
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period TSCXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money

SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money
6/1992 - 6/2019; 325 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWVXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 314
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $254.53
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 314 12-month periods 2.55%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.63%
SWVXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which SWVXX made less than VMMXX 260/314 = 82.8%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 260 periods -$9.76
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2008 - 9/2009 -$47.27
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$7.85
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWVXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009
SWVXX Dollars
Number of periods in which SWVXX lost money 1/314 = 0.3%
Average loss over those 1 periods $0.00
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2009 - 7/2010 -$0.05
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$254.53
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWVXX 8/2009 - 7/2010
SWVXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which SWVXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 155/314 = 49.4%
Average real loss over those 155 periods -$151.71
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.83
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$29.76
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWVXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money

SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money
5/1994 - 6/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWRXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $230.21
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 2.30%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.62%
SWRXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which SWRXX made less than VMMXX 283/291 = 97.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 283 periods -$26.65
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2008 - 9/2009 -$59.07
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$25.92
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWRXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009
SWRXX Dollars
Number of periods in which SWRXX lost money 0/291 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2015 - 3/2016 +$0.99
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$230.21
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWRXX 4/2015 - 3/2016
SWRXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which SWRXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 155/291 = 53.3%
Average real loss over those 155 periods -$161.34
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.85
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$9.13
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWRXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™

SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™
7/1994 - 6/2019; 300 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWPXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 289
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $226.07
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 289 12-month periods 2.26%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.63%
SWPXX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which SWPXX made less than VMMXX 281/289 = 97.2%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 281 periods -$29.11
Worst single 12-month performance, 6/2008 - 5/2009 -$77.94
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$28.30
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWPXX vs VMMXX, 6/2008 - 5/2009
SWPXX Dollars
Number of periods in which SWPXX lost money 0/289 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2011 - 11/2012 +$0.94
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$226.07
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWPXX 12/2011 - 11/2012
SWPXX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which SWPXX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 159/289 = 55.0%
Average real loss over those 159 periods -$159.09
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.84
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$5.61
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SWPXX 10/2010 - 9/2011

Very short-term

SHY: iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond

SHY: iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond
9/2002 - 6/2019; 202 months total
(limited by range of available data for SHY)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 191
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $188.25
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 191 12-month periods 1.88%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.30%
SHY compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which SHY made less than VMMXX 60/191 = 31.4%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 60 periods -$98.43
Worst single 12-month performance, 7/2005 - 6/2006 -$237.14
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$49.79
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHY vs VMMXX, 7/2005 - 6/2006
SHY Dollars
Number of periods in which SHY lost money 12/191 = 6.3%
Average loss over those 12 periods -$24.41
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2004 - 3/2005 -$52.71
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$188.25
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHY 4/2004 - 3/2005
SHY Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which SHY failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 120/191 = 62.8%
Average real loss over those 120 periods -$159.88
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2004 - 9/2005 -$388.31
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$20.89
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHY 10/2004 - 9/2005

SHV: iShares Short Treasury Bond

SHV: iShares Short Treasury Bond
3/2007 - 6/2019; 148 months total
(limited by range of available data for SHV)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 137
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $71.12
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 137 12-month periods 0.71%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.46%
SHV compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which SHV made less than VMMXX 77/137 = 56.2%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 77 periods -$17.41
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2008 - 3/2009 -$55.21
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$7.86
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHV vs VMMXX, 4/2008 - 3/2009
SHV Dollars
Number of periods in which SHV lost money 6/137 = 4.4%
Average loss over those 6 periods -$0.68
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2011 - 8/2012 -$1.49
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$71.12
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHV 9/2011 - 8/2012
SHV Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which SHV failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 109/137 = 79.6%
Average real loss over those 109 periods -$160.64
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$376.90
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$103.46
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period SHV 10/2010 - 9/2011

MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active

MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active
1/2010 - 6/2019; 114 months total
(limited by range of available data for MINT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 103
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $136.11
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 103 12-month periods 1.36%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.47%
MINT compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which MINT made less than VMMXX 2/103 = 1.9%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 2 periods -$14.02
Worst single 12-month performance, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$23.36
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$92.04
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period MINT vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
MINT Dollars
Number of periods in which MINT lost money 0/103 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2014 - 9/2015 +$22.14
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$136.11
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period MINT 10/2014 - 9/2015
MINT Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which MINT failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 67/103 = 65.0%
Average real loss over those 67 periods -$86.14
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$334.48
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$41.68
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period MINT 10/2010 - 9/2011

FLOT: iShares Floating Rate Bond

FLOT: iShares Floating Rate Bond
8/2011 - 6/2019; 95 months total
(limited by range of available data for FLOT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 84
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $143.44
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 84 12-month periods 1.43%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.79%
FLOT compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which FLOT made less than VMMXX 9/84 = 10.7%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 9 periods -$13.18
Worst single 12-month performance, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$38.76
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$90.63
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FLOT vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
FLOT Dollars
Number of periods in which FLOT lost money 4/84 = 4.8%
Average loss over those 4 periods -$12.40
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2014 - 9/2015 -$24.93
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$143.44
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FLOT 10/2014 - 9/2015
FLOT Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which FLOT failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 56/84 = 66.7%
Average real loss over those 56 periods -$54.30
Worst single 12-month performance, 6/2013 - 5/2014 -$140.12
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$10.90
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FLOT 6/2013 - 5/2014

VUBFX: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond

VUBFX: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond
4/2015 - 6/2019; 51 months total
(limited by range of available data for VUBFX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 40
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $142.74
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 40 12-month periods 1.43%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.43%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VUBFX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VUBFX made less than VMMXX 11/40 = 27.5%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 11 periods -$14.68
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2017 - 8/2018 -$25.73
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$34.65
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUBFX vs VMMXX, 9/2017 - 8/2018
VUBFX Dollars
Number of periods in which VUBFX lost money 0/40 = 0.0%
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2015 - 3/2016 +$64.24
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$142.74
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUBFX 4/2015 - 3/2016
VUBFX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VUBFX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 30/40 = 75.0%
Average real loss over those 30 periods -$93.18
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$165.89
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$52.29
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VUBFX 8/2017 - 7/2018

FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond

FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond
7/1997 - 6/2019; 264 months total
(limited by range of available data for FULIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 253
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $296.34
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 253 12-month periods 2.96%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.24%
FULIX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which FULIX made less than VMMXX 49/253 = 19.4%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 49 periods -$177.32
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$689.73
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$83.62
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FULIX vs VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008
FULIX Dollars
Number of periods in which FULIX lost money 9/253 = 3.6%
Average loss over those 9 periods -$227.86
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$392.97
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$296.34
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FULIX 12/2007 - 11/2008
FULIX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which FULIX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 127/253 = 50.2%
Average real loss over those 127 periods -$116.12
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$659.91
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$79.97
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period FULIX 11/2007 - 10/2008

VMLTX: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt

VMLTX: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt
10/1987 - 6/2019; 381 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMLTX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 370
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $392.47
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 370 12-month periods 3.92%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.85%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VMLTX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VMLTX made less than VMMXX 144/370 = 38.9%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 144 periods -$145.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 2/1999 - 1/2000 -$443.89
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$61.95
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMLTX vs VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000
VMLTX Dollars
Number of periods in which VMLTX lost money 8/370 = 2.2%
Average loss over those 8 periods -$14.89
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2015 - 11/2016 -$34.62
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$392.47
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMLTX 12/2015 - 11/2016
VMLTX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VMLTX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 110/370 = 29.7%
Average real loss over those 110 periods -$142.83
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$364.10
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$136.88
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VMLTX 11/2004 - 10/2005

BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill

BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill
7/2007 - 6/2019; 144 months total
(limited by range of available data for BIL)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 133
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $39.76
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 133 12-month periods 0.40%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.33%
BIL compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which BIL made less than VMMXX 133/133 = 100.0%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 133 periods -$27.46
Worst single 12-month performance, 2/2008 - 1/2009 -$116.79
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$27.46
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BIL vs VMMXX, 2/2008 - 1/2009
BIL Dollars
Number of periods in which BIL lost money 63/133 = 47.4%
Average loss over those 63 periods -$6.69
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2014 - 10/2015 -$12.62
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$39.76
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BIL 11/2014 - 10/2015
BIL Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which BIL failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 114/133 = 85.7%
Average real loss over those 114 periods -$167.62
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$388.89
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$127.95
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period BIL 10/2010 - 9/2011

Short-term

VSBSX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index

VSBSX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index
1/2010 - 6/2019; 114 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSBSX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 103
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $76.77
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 103 12-month periods 0.77%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.79%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VSBSX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VSBSX made less than VMMXX 24/103 = 23.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 24 periods -$94.78
Worst single 12-month performance, 10/2017 - 9/2018 -$177.70
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$32.69
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSBSX vs VMMXX, 10/2017 - 9/2018
VSBSX Dollars
Number of periods in which VSBSX lost money 10/103 = 9.7%
Average loss over those 10 periods -$15.03
Worst single 12-month performance, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$37.27
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$76.77
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSBSX 5/2017 - 4/2018
VSBSX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VSBSX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 82/103 = 79.6%
Average real loss over those 82 periods -$146.94
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$319.22
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$101.02
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSBSX 8/2017 - 7/2018

VFISX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury

VFISX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury
12/1991 - 6/2019; 331 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFISX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 320
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $381.29
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 320 12-month periods 3.81%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.96%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VFISX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VFISX made less than VMMXX 97/320 = 30.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 97 periods -$131.29
Worst single 12-month performance, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$456.03
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$117.10
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFISX vs VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994
VFISX Dollars
Number of periods in which VFISX lost money 19/320 = 5.9%
Average loss over those 19 periods -$32.68
Worst single 12-month performance, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$69.26
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$381.29
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFISX 5/2017 - 4/2018
VFISX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VFISX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 132/320 = 41.2%
Average real loss over those 132 periods -$150.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$369.35
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$154.87
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFISX 11/2004 - 10/2005

VGSH: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund

VGSH: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund
1/2010 - 6/2019; 114 months total
(limited by range of available data for VGSH)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 103
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $77.24
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 103 12-month periods 0.77%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 0.79%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VGSH compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VGSH made less than VMMXX 24/103 = 23.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 24 periods -$95.95
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$180.27
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$33.17
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGSH vs VMMXX, 8/2017 - 7/2018
VGSH Dollars
Number of periods in which VGSH lost money 10/103 = 9.7%
Average loss over those 10 periods -$16.51
Worst single 12-month performance, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$39.96
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$77.24
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGSH 5/2017 - 4/2018
VGSH Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VGSH failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 82/103 = 79.6%
Average real loss over those 82 periods -$146.47
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$324.01
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$100.54
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGSH 8/2017 - 7/2018

VBISX: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index

VBISX: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index
5/1994 - 6/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBISX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $410.94
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 4.11%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 2.04%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VBISX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VBISX made less than VMMXX 67/291 = 23.0%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 67 periods -$128.70
Worst single 12-month performance, 2/1999 - 1/2000 -$356.95
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$154.81
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBISX vs VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000
VBISX Dollars
Number of periods in which VBISX lost money 11/291 = 3.8%
Average loss over those 11 periods -$41.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$66.54
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$410.94
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBISX 8/2017 - 7/2018
VBISX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VBISX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 92/291 = 31.6%
Average real loss over those 92 periods -$149.68
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$413.11
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$189.85
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBISX 11/2004 - 10/2005

VSGBX: Vanguard Short-Term Federal

VSGBX: Vanguard Short-Term Federal
2/1988 - 6/2019; 377 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSGBX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 366
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $473.67
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 366 12-month periods 4.74%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 2.03%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VSGBX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VSGBX made less than VMMXX 100/366 = 27.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 100 periods -$132.79
Worst single 12-month performance, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$502.65
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$147.67
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSGBX vs VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994
VSGBX Dollars
Number of periods in which VSGBX lost money 24/366 = 6.6%
Average loss over those 24 periods -$32.78
Worst single 12-month performance, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$94.36
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$473.67
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSGBX 1/1994 - 12/1994
VSGBX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VSGBX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 116/366 = 31.7%
Average real loss over those 116 periods -$151.74
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$375.84
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$219.94
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSGBX 11/2004 - 10/2005

VTIPX: Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index

VTIPX: Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index
12/2012 - 6/2019; 79 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTIPX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 68
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $40.14
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 68 12-month periods 0.40%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 1.57%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 1
(conservative)
Vanguard funds are classified as conservative if their share prices are expected to remain stable or to fluctuate only slightly. Such funds may be appropriate for the short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
VTIPX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTIPX made less than VMMXX 45/68 = 66.2%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 45 periods -$96.16
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2014 - 8/2015 -$224.53
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods -$24.37
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIPX vs VMMXX, 9/2014 - 8/2015
VTIPX Dollars
Number of periods in which VTIPX lost money 25/68 = 36.8%
Average loss over those 25 periods -$111.22
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/2014 - 8/2015 -$222.98
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$40.14
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIPX 9/2014 - 8/2015
VTIPX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTIPX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 55/68 = 80.9%
Average real loss over those 55 periods -$154.42
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/2013 - 3/2014 -$347.89
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$112.85
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIPX 4/2013 - 3/2014

Intermediate-term

VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
2/1987 - 6/2019; 389 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBMFX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 378
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $601.15
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 378 12-month periods 6.01%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 3.81%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 2
(conservative to moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as conservative to moderate are subject to low to moderate fluctuations in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors with medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
VBMFX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VBMFX made less than VMMXX 105/378 = 27.8%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 105 periods -$216.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$743.09
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$262.79
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBMFX vs VMMXX, 11/1993 - 10/1994
VBMFX Dollars
Number of periods in which VBMFX lost money 38/378 = 10.1%
Average loss over those 38 periods -$126.38
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$372.88
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$601.15
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBMFX 11/1993 - 10/1994
VBMFX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VBMFX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 82/378 = 21.7%
Average real loss over those 82 periods -$245.39
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$633.69
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$342.54
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBMFX 11/1993 - 10/1994

VTEB: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund

VTEB: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund
10/2015 - 6/2019; 45 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTEB)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 34
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $201.39
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 34 12-month periods 2.01%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 3.10%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 2
(conservative to moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as conservative to moderate are subject to low to moderate fluctuations in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors with medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
VTEB compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTEB made less than VMMXX 18/34 = 52.9%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 18 periods -$78.49
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$262.26
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$78.26
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEB vs VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018
VTEB Dollars
Number of periods in which VTEB lost money 5/34 = 14.7%
Average loss over those 5 periods -$38.45
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$85.35
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$201.39
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEB 11/2017 - 10/2018
VTEB Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTEB failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 21/34 = 61.8%
Average real loss over those 21 periods -$180.10
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$337.60
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$10.75
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEB 11/2017 - 10/2018

VWIUX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt

VWIUX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt
11/1977 - 6/2019; 500 months total
(limited by range of available data for VWIUX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 489
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $564.67
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 489 12-month periods 5.65%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 5.51%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 2
(conservative to moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as conservative to moderate are subject to low to moderate fluctuations in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors with medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
VWIUX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VWIUX made less than VMMXX 184/489 = 37.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 184 periods -$588.72
Worst single 12-month performance, 9/1980 - 8/1981 -$3159.91
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$65.71
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWIUX vs VMMXX, 9/1980 - 8/1981
VWIUX Dollars
Number of periods in which VWIUX lost money 67/489 = 13.7%
Average loss over those 67 periods -$407.91
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$1563.90
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$564.67
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWIUX 4/1979 - 3/1980
VWIUX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VWIUX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 147/489 = 30.1%
Average real loss over those 147 periods -$620.38
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$3039.55
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$217.08
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWIUX 4/1979 - 3/1980

Long-term

VNYTX: Vanguard New York Long-Term Tax-Exempt

VNYTX: Vanguard New York Long-Term Tax-Exempt
6/1986 - 6/2019; 397 months total
(limited by range of available data for VNYTX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 386
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $575.58
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 386 12-month periods 5.76%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 5.31%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VNYTX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VNYTX made less than VMMXX 124/386 = 32.1%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 124 periods -$327.51
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$1381.28
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$231.34
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VNYTX vs VMMXX, 11/1986 - 10/1987
VNYTX Dollars
Number of periods in which VNYTX lost money 47/386 = 12.2%
Average loss over those 47 periods -$260.35
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$750.14
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$575.58
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VNYTX 11/1986 - 10/1987
VNYTX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VNYTX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 116/386 = 30.1%
Average real loss over those 116 periods -$294.57
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$1203.45
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$313.64
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VNYTX 11/1986 - 10/1987

Balanced

VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index

VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index
1/1993 - 6/2019; 318 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBINX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 307
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $844.28
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 307 12-month periods 8.44%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 8.86%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VBINX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VBINX made less than VMMXX 66/307 = 21.5%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 66 periods -$959.42
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3000.48
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$582.98
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VBINX Dollars
Number of periods in which VBINX lost money 55/307 = 17.9%
Average loss over those 55 periods -$783.36
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2767.23
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$844.28
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBINX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VBINX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VBINX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 68/307 = 22.1%
Average real loss over those 68 periods -$824.47
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2790.85
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$620.85
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VBINX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth

VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth
11/1994 - 6/2019; 296 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSCGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 285
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $692.55
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 285 12-month periods 6.93%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 6.74%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VSCGX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VSCGX made less than VMMXX 59/285 = 20.7%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 59 periods -$744.00
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2660.09
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$442.40
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSCGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VSCGX Dollars
Number of periods in which VSCGX lost money 44/285 = 15.4%
Average loss over those 44 periods -$652.59
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2426.84
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$692.55
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSCGX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VSCGX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VSCGX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 63/285 = 22.1%
Average real loss over those 63 periods -$612.24
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2450.46
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$472.85
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSCGX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth

VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth
11/1994 - 6/2019; 296 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSMGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 285
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $795.86
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 285 12-month periods 7.96%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 9.49%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VSMGX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VSMGX made less than VMMXX 67/285 = 23.5%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 67 periods -$1032.23
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3459.91
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$545.71
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSMGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VSMGX Dollars
Number of periods in which VSMGX lost money 59/285 = 20.7%
Average loss over those 59 periods -$869.41
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3226.66
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$795.86
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSMGX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VSMGX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VSMGX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 68/285 = 23.9%
Average real loss over those 68 periods -$941.55
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3250.28
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$576.16
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VSMGX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income

VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income
11/1994 - 6/2019; 296 months total
(limited by range of available data for VASIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 285
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $606.58
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 285 12-month periods 6.07%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 4.36%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 2
(conservative to moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as conservative to moderate are subject to low to moderate fluctuations in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors with medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
VASIX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VASIX made less than VMMXX 53/285 = 18.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 53 periods -$375.77
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1662.90
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$356.43
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASIX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VASIX Dollars
Number of periods in which VASIX lost money 22/285 = 7.7%
Average loss over those 22 periods -$504.99
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1429.66
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$606.58
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASIX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VASIX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VASIX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 46/285 = 16.1%
Average real loss over those 46 periods -$371.38
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$1594.10
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$386.88
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASIX 11/2007 - 10/2008

VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth

VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth
11/1994 - 6/2019; 296 months total
(limited by range of available data for VASGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 285
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $881.71
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 285 12-month periods 8.82%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 12.38%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VASGX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VASGX made less than VMMXX 75/285 = 26.3%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 75 periods -$1309.60
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4293.05
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$631.56
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VASGX Dollars
Number of periods in which VASGX lost money 67/285 = 23.5%
Average loss over those 67 periods -$1179.95
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4059.80
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$881.71
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASGX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VASGX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VASGX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 76/285 = 26.7%
Average real loss over those 76 periods -$1227.34
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4083.42
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$662.01
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VASGX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VWELX: Vanguard Wellington

VWELX: Vanguard Wellington
8/1975 - 6/2019; 527 months total
(limited by start of available data for VMMXX, and by end of available data for VWELX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 516
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1144.03
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 516 12-month periods 11.44%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 10.17%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VWELX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VWELX made less than VMMXX 127/516 = 24.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 127 periods -$783.88
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3104.03
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$643.47
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWELX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VWELX Dollars
Number of periods in which VWELX lost money 70/516 = 13.6%
Average loss over those 70 periods -$610.53
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2870.78
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1144.03
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWELX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VWELX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VWELX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 117/516 = 22.7%
Average real loss over those 117 periods -$685.15
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2894.40
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$780.84
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWELX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income

VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income
8/1975 - 6/2019; 527 months total
(limited by start of available data for VMMXX, and by end of available data for VWINX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 516
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1033.73
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 516 12-month periods 10.34%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 6.98%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 3
(moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate are subject to a moderate degree of fluctuation in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors who have a relatively long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
VWINX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VWINX made less than VMMXX 130/516 = 25.2%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 130 periods -$549.84
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1884.28
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$533.17
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VWINX Dollars
Number of periods in which VWINX lost money 38/516 = 7.4%
Average loss over those 38 periods -$479.82
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1651.03
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1033.73
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWINX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VWINX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VWINX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 116/516 = 22.5%
Average real loss over those 116 periods -$474.54
Worst single 12-month performance, 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$1984.16
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$670.55
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VWINX 4/1979 - 3/1980

Stock

VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund

VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
3/2004 - 6/2019; 184 months total
(limited by range of available data for VGT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 173
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1329.75
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 173 12-month periods 13.30%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 17.83%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 5
(aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as aggressive are subject to extremely wide fluctuations in share prices. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies.
VGT compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VGT made less than VMMXX 33/173 = 19.1%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 33 periods -$1478.65
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$4615.09
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$1186.48
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGT vs VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008
VGT Dollars
Number of periods in which VGT lost money 28/173 = 16.2%
Average loss over those 28 periods -$1463.38
Worst single 12-month performance, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$4318.33
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1329.75
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGT 12/2007 - 11/2008
VGT Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VGT failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 35/173 = 20.2%
Average real loss over those 35 periods -$1360.78
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$4488.07
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1125.00
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VGT 11/2007 - 10/2008

VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor

VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor
10/1976 - 6/2019; 513 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFINX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 502
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1242.59
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 502 12-month periods 12.43%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 14.74%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VFINX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VFINX made less than VMMXX 126/502 = 25.1%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 126 periods -$1464.58
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4565.72
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$742.80
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VFINX Dollars
Number of periods in which VFINX lost money 93/502 = 18.5%
Average loss over those 93 periods -$1285.91
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4332.47
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1242.59
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFINX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VFINX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VFINX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 121/502 = 24.1%
Average real loss over those 121 periods -$1326.04
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4356.09
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$885.88
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VFINX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VTEAX: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index

VTEAX: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index
10/2015 - 6/2019; 45 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTEAX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 34
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $202.24
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 34 12-month periods 2.02%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 3.09%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 2
(conservative to moderate)
Vanguard funds classified as conservative to moderate are subject to low to moderate fluctuations in share prices. In general, such funds may be appropriate for investors with medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
VTEAX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTEAX made less than VMMXX 18/34 = 52.9%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 18 periods -$77.15
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$261.41
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$79.12
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEAX vs VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018
VTEAX Dollars
Number of periods in which VTEAX lost money 4/34 = 11.8%
Average loss over those 4 periods -$43.59
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$84.50
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$202.24
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEAX 11/2017 - 10/2018
VTEAX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTEAX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 21/34 = 61.8%
Average real loss over those 21 periods -$179.08
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$336.75
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods -$9.90
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTEAX 11/2017 - 10/2018

VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund

VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
6/1992 - 6/2019; 325 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTI)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 314
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1102.43
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 314 12-month periods 11.02%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 14.61%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VTI compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTI made less than VMMXX 71/314 = 22.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 71 periods -$1608.29
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4547.36
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$840.05
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTI vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTI Dollars
Number of periods in which VTI lost money 61/314 = 19.4%
Average loss over those 61 periods -$1535.06
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4314.12
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1102.43
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTI 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTI Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTI failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 70/314 = 22.3%
Average real loss over those 70 periods -$1531.10
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4337.74
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$877.66
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTI 3/2008 - 2/2009

VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index

VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index
6/1996 - 6/2019; 277 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTIAX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 266
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $675.42
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 266 12-month periods 6.75%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 16.94%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 5
(aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as aggressive are subject to extremely wide fluctuations in share prices. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies.
VTIAX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTIAX made less than VMMXX 105/266 = 39.5%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 105 periods -$1516.59
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$5383.16
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$446.71
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIAX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTIAX Dollars
Number of periods in which VTIAX lost money 91/266 = 34.2%
Average loss over those 91 periods -$1490.97
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$5149.92
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$675.42
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIAX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTIAX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTIAX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 100/266 = 37.6%
Average real loss over those 100 periods -$1529.90
Worst single 12-month performance, 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$5222.38
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$460.50
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTIAX 11/2007 - 10/2008

VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index

VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
6/1992 - 6/2019; 325 months total
(limited by start of available data for VTSAX, and by end of available data for VMMXX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 314
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1102.15
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 314 12-month periods 11.02%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 14.54%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VTSAX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTSAX made less than VMMXX 71/314 = 22.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 71 periods -$1608.65
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4548.42
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$839.77
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSAX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTSAX Dollars
Number of periods in which VTSAX lost money 61/314 = 19.4%
Average loss over those 61 periods -$1535.53
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4315.17
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1102.15
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSAX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTSAX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTSAX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 70/314 = 22.3%
Average real loss over those 70 periods -$1531.48
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4338.79
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$877.38
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSAX 3/2008 - 2/2009

VTSMX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index

VTSMX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
6/1992 - 6/2019; 325 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTSMX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 314
Average number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1094.91
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 314 12-month periods 10.95%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized) 14.53%
Vanguard's risk potential classification
Risk level 4
(moderate to aggressive)
Vanguard funds classified as moderate to aggressive are broadly diversified but are subject to wide fluctuations in share prices because they hold virtually all of their assets in common stocks. These funds may be appropriate for investors who have a long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
VTSMX compared to VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Number of periods in which VTSMX made less than VMMXX 71/314 = 22.6%
Average underperformance versus VMMXX over those 71 periods -$1613.55
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4551.13
Reward for that risk: additional return above VMMXX, averaged over 12-month periods +$832.52
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSMX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTSMX Dollars
Number of periods in which VTSMX lost money 61/314 = 19.4%
Average loss over those 61 periods -$1540.89
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4317.88
Average return, averaged over 12-month periods +$1094.91
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSMX 3/2008 - 2/2009
VTSMX Real return (relative to dollars at start plus 12 months' inflation)
Number of periods in which VTSMX failed to keep up with inflation (had negative real return) 71/314 = 22.6%
Average real loss over those 71 periods -$1515.22
Worst single 12-month performance, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4341.50
Average real return, averaged over 12-month periods +$870.14
Link to Morningstar chart of worst period VTSMX 3/2008 - 2/2009

Notes

  1. John Bogle, in his 1994 classic, Bogle on Mutual Funds, suggested using a low-cost short-term treasury bond fund, with its government backed credit rating, as a prudent substitute for a money market fund for investment reserves distinct from savings and transaction account balances. (p.132 in the text)
  2. For funds and ETFs, calculations are based on data made publicly available free of charge from Morningstar. Data for the CPI is CPI-U, "CPI for All Urban Consumers," not seasonally adjusted, obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Notes for editors

Edit the "introduction" and "notes" section if you can express your idea better by doing rather than describing.

In the case of the individual fund description themselves, which form the bulk of the article, they are software-generated. I have added one, VARIX, specifically for editing; if you have ideas about changes in wording or formatting, make them here.