Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (6 months)
This page contains details specific to United States (US) investors, and does not apply to nonUS investors. 
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 shortterm savings (6 months) compares historical performance of similar funds that are appropriate for shortterm savings.^{[Note 1]}
Volatilityfluctuations in valueare an important aspect of risk. In financial economics, volatility is often measured by a statistical value called the standard deviation, represented by the Greek letter sigma (σ). The standard deviation of mutual funds can be found on sites like Morningstar or PortfolioVisualizer. However, it is hard to relate this number to a practical question, like "how much risk would I be taking by putting money I need a year from now into a shortterm bond fund instead of a money market fund?" This article tries to help with this kind of question.
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 exchangetraded 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 moneyended up with less than $10,000 at the end of the time periodand 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 shortterm 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 ShortTerm Treasury Fund, VFISX, beat VMMXX by an average of $117.10 while the Vanguard ShortTerm 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 timeand thus the shortterm futuremay be quite different from the historical averages.
Median and average (mean)
We show both the average and the median for some key values. A reader requested this. We have a scattered group of values: the return from an investment over many different periods of time. To represent the center of such a group with a single number, we often calculate and average or mean. In the case here, when we are looking, for example, at losses, and only seeing "the tail of the distribution," the average may give the wrong impression because it's influenced by extreme values. The median is another measure, and represents the value that is halfway based on counting. If the median loss of an investment is $600, it means you had a 50% chance of losing more over $600 and a 50% chance of losing less than $600.
Holding bond funds for the average "duration" of the fund
A "duration" is a calculation based on bond math that gives a number of years, related to the bond's term but shorter. One interpretation of the duration is that it is the "point of indifference." It is too well known that when interest rates rise, bond values fall. What is less well known is that if a bond is held for its duration, at the end of that period of time it will have the same value regardless of what interest rates do, provided the yield curve moves in parallel. This does not apply to a bond fund because the bonds in a fund are all different "ages" at any given time, and because the yield curve doesn't move in parallel. So there are no guarantees, but, nevertheless, the duration tells us a holding period over which the fund is unlikely to lose money.
This leads us to expect, for example, that "shortterm" bond fundslike the Vanguard ShortTerm Bond Index Fund, with a duration of 2.7 yearswill sometimes lose money over periods of 6 or 12 months, but rarely lose money over periods of 5 years. This expectation is borne out by history.
A bond fund may not lose money, in the sense of dollars, yet lose value to inflation.
Money market
BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  361 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $106.15 (average), +$41.20 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 361 6month periods  2.13% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.72% 
Number of periods in which BTFXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 347 periods 
347/361 = 96.1% $45.43 (average), $14.19 (median) 
Number of periods in which BTFXX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 149 periods 
149/361 = 41.3% $0.00 (average), $0.00 (median) 
Number of periods in which BTFXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 194 periods 
194/361 = 53.7% $120.50 (average), $104.32 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/1989  12/1989  $302.66 
Dollar loss, 6/2015  11/2015  $0.00 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $420.88 
Compared to VMMXX  BTFXX vs VMMXX, 7/1989  12/1989 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 361 overlapping 6month periods  $42.80 (average), $12.49 (median) 
SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  301 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $112.57 (average), +$74.88 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 301 6month periods  2.26% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.62% 
Number of periods in which SWPXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 287 periods 
287/301 = 95.3% $15.30 (average), $15.18 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWPXX lost money  0/301 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SWPXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 164 periods 
164/301 = 54.5% $98.26 (average), $87.90 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009  $58.12 
Dollar loss, 9/2011  2/2012  +$0.41 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.81 
Compared to VMMXX  SWPXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 301 overlapping 6month periods  $14.26 (average), $14.80 (median) 
SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  303 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $114.78 (average), +$87.00 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 303 6month periods  2.31% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.62% 
Number of periods in which SWRXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 291 periods 
291/303 = 96.0% $13.19 (average), $13.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWRXX lost money  0/303 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SWRXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 164 periods 
164/303 = 54.1% $97.02 (average), $85.57 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009  $44.24 
Dollar loss, 10/2015  3/2016  +$0.46 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.76 
Compared to VMMXX  SWRXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 303 overlapping 6month periods  $12.65 (average), $13.27 (median) 
SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  326 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $125.69 (average), +$105.94 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 326 6month periods  2.53% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.63% 
Number of periods in which SWVXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 270 periods 
270/326 = 82.8% $5.19 (average), $3.28 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWVXX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 6 periods 
6/326 = 1.8% $0.16 (average), $0.13 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWVXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 162 periods 
162/326 = 49.7% $93.22 (average), $81.75 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009  $36.31 
Dollar loss, 8/2009  1/2010  $0.53 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.81 
Compared to VMMXX  SWVXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 326 overlapping 6month periods  $3.95 (average), $1.94 (median) 
TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  308 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $122.41 (average), +$91.97 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 308 6month periods  2.46% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.64% 
Number of periods in which TSCXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 275 periods 
275/308 = 89.3% $6.80 (average), $5.44 (median) 
Number of periods in which TSCXX lost money  0/308 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which TSCXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 160 periods 
160/308 = 51.9% $95.80 (average), $85.05 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2008  4/2009  $29.39 
Dollar loss, 10/2009  3/2010  +$0.33 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.78 
Compared to VMMXX  TSCXX vs VMMXX, 11/2008  4/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 308 overlapping 6month periods  $5.86 (average), $4.99 (median) 
VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  318 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $122.70 (average), +$100.19 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 318 6month periods  2.47% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.61% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VUSXX  VUSXX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VUSXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 259 periods 
259/318 = 81.4% $8.23 (average), $6.58 (median) 
Number of periods in which VUSXX lost money  0/318 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VUSXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 158 periods 
158/318 = 49.7% $94.63 (average), $79.20 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $51.54 
Dollar loss, 9/2014  2/2015  +$0.44 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.25 
Compared to VMMXX  VUSXX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 318 overlapping 6month periods  $6.22 (average), $4.35 (median) 
VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  528 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $243.72 (average), +$251.11 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 528 6month periods  4.93% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.11% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VMMXX  VMMXX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VMMXX lost money  0/528 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VMMXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 202 periods 
202/528 = 38.3% $91.64 (average), $77.46 (median) 
Dollar loss, 11/2014  4/2015  +$0.48 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $323.97 
VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  455 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $201.33 (average), +$213.67 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 455 6month periods  4.07% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.93% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VMFXX  VMFXX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VMFXX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 431 periods 
431/455 = 94.7% $7.41 (average), $3.65 (median) 
Number of periods in which VMFXX lost money  0/455 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VMFXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 163 periods 
163/455 = 35.8% $91.27 (average), $79.33 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/1982  11/1982  $75.27 
Dollar loss, 12/2014  5/2015  +$0.47 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $326.48 
Compared to VMMXX  VMFXX vs VMMXX, 6/1982  11/1982 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 455 overlapping 6month periods  $6.91 (average), $3.39 (median) 
Very shortterm
BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 13 Month TBill
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  145 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $28.35 (average), +$1.28 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 145 6month periods  0.57% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.33% 
Number of periods in which BIL made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 144 periods 
144/145 = 99.3% $14.10 (average), $7.11 (median) 
Number of periods in which BIL lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 63 periods 
63/145 = 43.4% $3.67 (average), $4.31 (median) 
Number of periods in which BIL failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 115 periods 
115/145 = 79.3% $106.45 (average), $87.41 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009  $70.31 
Dollar loss, 5/2015  10/2015  $6.63 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $340.21 
Compared to VMMXX  BIL vs VMMXX, 10/2008  3/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 145 overlapping 6month periods  $13.98 (average), $7.06 (median) 
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  96 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $81.13 (average), +$84.59 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 96 6month periods  1.63% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.77% 
Number of periods in which FLOT made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 15 periods 
15/96 = 15.6% $24.08 (average), $21.49 (median) 
Number of periods in which FLOT lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 11 periods 
11/96 = 11.5% $20.03 (average), $18.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which FLOT failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 45 periods 
45/96 = 46.9% $65.60 (average), $50.33 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 8/2011  1/2012  $69.96 
Dollar loss, 8/2011  1/2012  $68.64 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 1/2014  6/2014  $189.40 
Compared to VMMXX  FLOT vs VMMXX, 8/2011  1/2012 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 96 overlapping 6month periods  +$47.35 (average), +$38.23 (median) 
FTSM: First Trust Enhanced Short Maturity
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  58 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $73.53 (average), +$74.45 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 58 6month periods  1.48% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.30% 
Number of periods in which FTSM made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 9 periods 
9/58 = 15.5% $6.96 (average), $5.76 (median) 
Number of periods in which FTSM lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 4 periods 
4/58 = 6.9% $3.76 (average), $3.35 (median) 
Number of periods in which FTSM failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 36 periods 
36/58 = 62.1% $61.67 (average), $48.45 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2018  12/2018  $17.48 
Dollar loss, 6/2015  11/2015  $8.31 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2015  7/2015  $201.71 
Compared to VMMXX  FTSM vs VMMXX, 7/2018  12/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 58 overlapping 6month periods  +$18.38 (average), +$20.32 (median) 
FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  265 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $149.89 (average), +$115.92 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 265 6month periods  3.02% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.23% 
Number of periods in which FULIX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 69 periods 
69/265 = 26.0% $86.40 (average), $29.00 (median) 
Number of periods in which FULIX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 21 periods 
21/265 = 7.9% $94.12 (average), $65.20 (median) 
Number of periods in which FULIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 112 periods 
112/265 = 42.3% $93.89 (average), $63.51 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2008  12/2008  $442.61 
Dollar loss, 6/2008  11/2008  $324.53 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $601.46 
Compared to VMMXX  FULIX vs VMMXX, 7/2008  12/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 265 overlapping 6month periods  +$42.45 (average), +$35.48 (median) 
GSY: Invesco Ultra Short Duration
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  136 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $63.46 (average), +$66.54 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 136 6month periods  1.27% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.38% 
Number of periods in which GSY made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 37 periods 
37/136 = 27.2% $16.89 (average), $6.97 (median) 
Number of periods in which GSY lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 15 periods 
15/136 = 11.0% $5.21 (average), $3.34 (median) 
Number of periods in which GSY failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 80 periods 
80/136 = 58.8% $84.83 (average), $64.82 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $71.73 
Dollar loss, 4/2011  9/2011  $20.69 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $324.27 
Compared to VMMXX  GSY vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 136 overlapping 6month periods  +$31.10 (average), +$37.13 (median) 
MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  115 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $75.01 (average), +$84.46 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 115 6month periods  1.51% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.47% 
Number of periods in which MINT made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 12 periods 
12/115 = 10.4% $17.29 (average), $7.25 (median) 
Number of periods in which MINT lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 4 periods 
4/115 = 3.5% $37.22 (average), $36.26 (median) 
Number of periods in which MINT failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 59 periods 
59/115 = 51.3% $76.87 (average), $47.91 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/2011  11/2011  $53.76 
Dollar loss, 6/2011  11/2011  $52.29 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $241.67 
Compared to VMMXX  MINT vs VMMXX, 6/2011  11/2011 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 115 overlapping 6month periods  +$46.32 (average), +$43.17 (median) 
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  69 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $77.64 (average), +$71.91 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 69 6month periods  1.56% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.34% 
Number of periods in which NEAR made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 6 periods 
6/69 = 8.7% $9.67 (average), $7.45 (median) 
Number of periods in which NEAR lost money  0/69 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which NEAR failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 37 periods 
37/69 = 53.6% $69.03 (average), $61.94 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2018  12/2018  $24.07 
Dollar loss, 7/2014  12/2014  +$10.42 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2015  7/2015  $173.92 
Compared to VMMXX  NEAR vs VMMXX, 7/2018  12/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 69 overlapping 6month periods  +$31.21 (average), +$32.32 (median) 
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  149 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $45.20 (average), +$10.03 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 149 6month periods  0.91% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.46% 
Number of periods in which SHV made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 78 periods 
78/149 = 52.3% $10.26 (average), $6.41 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHV lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 14 periods 
14/149 = 9.4% $1.70 (average), $1.32 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHV failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 111 periods 
111/149 = 74.5% $102.18 (average), $85.25 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 12/2008  5/2009  $41.20 
Dollar loss, 7/2015  12/2015  $5.11 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/2010  5/2011  $319.33 
Compared to VMMXX  SHV vs VMMXX, 12/2008  5/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 149 overlapping 6month periods  $2.94 (average), $0.21 (median) 
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  203 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $98.71 (average), +$57.58 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 203 6month periods  1.98% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.29% 
Number of periods in which SHY made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 66 periods 
66/203 = 32.5% $59.38 (average), $52.39 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHY lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 25 periods 
25/203 = 12.3% $25.48 (average), $18.64 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHY failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 126 periods 
126/203 = 62.1% $109.33 (average), $98.37 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018  $149.30 
Dollar loss, 9/2017  2/2018  $86.27 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $344.36 
Compared to VMMXX  SHY vs VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 203 overlapping 6month periods  +$28.20 (average), +$19.81 (median) 
VUBFX: Vanguard UltraShortTerm Bond
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  52 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $84.72 (average), +$66.16 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 52 6month periods  1.70% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.44% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VUBFX  VUBFX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VUBFX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 9 periods 
9/52 = 17.3% $16.85 (average), $16.88 (median) 
Number of periods in which VUBFX lost money  0/52 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VUBFX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 31 periods 
31/52 = 59.6% $59.19 (average), $58.66 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018  $34.89 
Dollar loss, 7/2015  12/2015  +$3.99 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 1/2018  6/2018  $157.55 
Compared to VMMXX  VUBFX vs VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 52 overlapping 6month periods  +$23.28 (average), +$24.26 (median) 
VMLTX: Vanguard LimitedTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  382 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $195.80 (average), +$187.75 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 382 6month periods  3.95% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.84% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VMLTX  VMLTX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VMLTX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 150 periods 
150/382 = 39.3% $96.94 (average), $89.56 (median) 
Number of periods in which VMLTX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 29 periods 
29/382 = 7.6% $53.01 (average), $44.24 (median) 
Number of periods in which VMLTX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 129 periods 
129/382 = 33.8% $113.12 (average), $99.78 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/1988  3/1989  $281.30 
Dollar loss, 7/2016  12/2016  $160.92 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $373.91 
Compared to VMMXX  VMLTX vs VMMXX, 10/1988  3/1989 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 382 overlapping 6month periods  +$32.42 (average), +$39.15 (median) 
Shortterm
VFIIX: Vanguard GNMA
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  468 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $369.20 (average), +$329.28 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 468 6month periods  7.52% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  4.88% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VFIIX  VFIIX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VFIIX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 136 periods 
136/468 = 29.1% $237.36 (average), $158.55 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFIIX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 56 periods 
56/468 = 12.0% $161.74 (average), $127.93 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFIIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 127 periods 
127/468 = 27.1% $216.06 (average), $164.42 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/1981  9/1981  $1598.85 
Dollar loss, 4/1981  9/1981  $725.66 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 4/1981  9/1981  $1256.73 
Compared to VMMXX  VFIIX vs VMMXX, 4/1981  9/1981 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 468 overlapping 6month periods  +$144.47 (average), +$152.84 (median) 
VFISX: Vanguard ShortTerm Treasury
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  332 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $191.57 (average), +$142.72 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 332 6month periods  3.87% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.95% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VFISX  VFISX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VFISX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 106 periods 
106/332 = 31.9% $92.76 (average), $80.21 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFISX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 36 periods 
36/332 = 10.8% $41.24 (average), $25.23 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFISX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 144 periods 
144/332 = 43.4% $110.02 (average), $93.98 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 1/1994  6/1994  $288.62 
Dollar loss, 1/1994  6/1994  $122.50 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $349.69 
Compared to VMMXX  VFISX vs VMMXX, 1/1994  6/1994 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 332 overlapping 6month periods  +$60.76 (average), +$45.62 (median) 
VFITX: Vanguard IntermediateTerm Treasury
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  332 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $278.02 (average), +$229.43 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 332 6month periods  5.64% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  4.72% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VFITX  VFITX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VFITX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 113 periods 
113/332 = 34.0% $224.18 (average), $204.88 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFITX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 79 periods 
79/332 = 23.8% $161.90 (average), $131.08 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFITX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 129 periods 
129/332 = 38.9% $219.95 (average), $216.37 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 11/1993  4/1994  $660.26 
Dollar loss, 11/1993  4/1994  $506.99 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 11/1993  4/1994  $623.66 
Compared to VMMXX  VFITX vs VMMXX, 11/1993  4/1994 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 332 overlapping 6month periods  +$147.21 (average), +$131.37 (median) 
VGSH: Vanguard ShortTerm Treasury Index Fund
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  115 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $54.25 (average), +$37.35 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 115 6month periods  1.09% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.81% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VGSH  VGSH 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VGSH made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 27 periods 
27/115 = 23.5% $54.47 (average), $47.63 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGSH lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 17 periods 
17/115 = 14.8% $26.73 (average), $14.54 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGSH failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 73 periods 
73/115 = 63.5% $105.14 (average), $92.21 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018  $145.34 
Dollar loss, 9/2017  2/2018  $82.31 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 11/2010  4/2011  $277.20 
Compared to VMMXX  VGSH vs VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 115 overlapping 6month periods  +$25.56 (average), +$24.83 (median) 
VBISX: Vanguard ShortTerm Bond Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  303 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $204.50 (average), +$163.22 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 303 6month periods  4.13% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  2.03% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VBISX  VBISX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VBISX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 93 periods 
93/303 = 30.7% $95.28 (average), $98.05 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBISX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 32 periods 
32/303 = 10.6% $46.91 (average), $36.63 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBISX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 115 periods 
115/303 = 38.0% $114.55 (average), $92.62 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/2008  9/2008  $247.70 
Dollar loss, 9/2017  2/2018  $137.90 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $411.65 
Compared to VMMXX  VBISX vs VMMXX, 4/2008  9/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 303 overlapping 6month periods  +$77.06 (average), +$74.10 (median) 
VSBSX: Vanguard ShortTerm Treasury Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  115 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $53.88 (average), +$36.45 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 115 6month periods  1.08% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  0.81% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VSBSX  VSBSX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VSBSX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 28 periods 
28/115 = 24.3% $51.93 (average), $43.24 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSBSX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 18 periods 
18/115 = 15.7% $24.23 (average), $13.22 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSBSX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 73 periods 
73/115 = 63.5% $105.32 (average), $91.07 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018  $146.82 
Dollar loss, 9/2017  2/2018  $83.79 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 11/2010  4/2011  $280.65 
Compared to VMMXX  VSBSX vs VMMXX, 9/2017  2/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 115 overlapping 6month periods  +$25.19 (average), +$22.99 (median) 
VSGBX: Vanguard ShortTerm Federal
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  378 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $233.33 (average), +$197.86 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 378 6month periods  4.72% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  2.02% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VSGBX  VSGBX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VSGBX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 119 periods 
119/378 = 31.5% $98.00 (average), $87.98 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSGBX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 36 periods 
36/378 = 9.5% $49.55 (average), $35.97 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSGBX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 135 periods 
135/378 = 35.7% $112.41 (average), $93.96 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 2/1994  7/1994  $312.06 
Dollar loss, 11/1993  4/1994  $146.02 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 2/2008  7/2008  $373.03 
Compared to VMMXX  VSGBX vs VMMXX, 2/1994  7/1994 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 378 overlapping 6month periods  +$71.91 (average), +$62.83 (median) 
VTIPX: Vanguard ShortTerm InflationProtected Securities Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  80 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $32.64 (average), +$31.54 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 80 6month periods  0.65% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  1.54% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTIPX  VTIPX 
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 shortterm reserves portion of a longterm investment portfolio or for investors with shortterm investment horizons (3 years or less). 
Number of periods in which VTIPX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 44 periods 
44/80 = 55.0% $80.57 (average), $55.04 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIPX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 31 periods 
31/80 = 38.8% $80.69 (average), $45.17 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIPX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 54 periods 
54/80 = 67.5% $101.76 (average), $79.34 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2014  12/2014  $290.29 
Dollar loss, 7/2014  12/2014  $289.82 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 1/2013  6/2013  $361.30 
Compared to VMMXX  VTIPX vs VMMXX, 7/2014  12/2014 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 80 overlapping 6month periods  $7.55 (average), $16.95 (median) 
Intermediateterm
VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  390 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $297.62 (average), +$287.25 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 390 6month periods  6.04% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  3.81% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VBMFX  VBMFX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VBMFX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 127 periods 
127/390 = 32.6% $194.06 (average), $165.35 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBMFX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 71 periods 
71/390 = 18.2% $130.86 (average), $101.32 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBMFX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 123 periods 
123/390 = 31.5% $201.25 (average), $164.65 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/1987  9/1987  $850.64 
Dollar loss, 4/1987  9/1987  $525.41 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 4/1987  9/1987  $784.11 
Compared to VMMXX  VBMFX vs VMMXX, 4/1987  9/1987 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 390 overlapping 6month periods  +$130.65 (average), +$167.58 (median) 
VTEB: Vanguard TaxExempt Bond Index Fund
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  46 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $176.38 (average), +$224.49 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 46 6month periods  3.56% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  3.03% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTEB  VTEB 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VTEB made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 17 periods 
17/46 = 37.0% $159.83 (average), $122.34 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTEB lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 11 periods 
11/46 = 23.9% $177.49 (average), $133.51 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTEB failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 17 periods 
17/46 = 37.0% $211.86 (average), $176.98 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2016  12/2016  $401.03 
Dollar loss, 7/2016  12/2016  $372.66 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 8/2016  1/2017  $414.30 
Compared to VMMXX  VTEB vs VMMXX, 7/2016  12/2016 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 46 overlapping 6month periods  +$107.51 (average), +$119.46 (median) 
VTEAX: Vanguard TaxExempt Bond Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  46 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $176.48 (average), +$220.03 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 46 6month periods  3.56% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  3.02% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTEAX  VTEAX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VTEAX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 17 periods 
17/46 = 37.0% $159.89 (average), $124.09 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTEAX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 11 periods 
11/46 = 23.9% $177.53 (average), $132.65 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTEAX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 17 periods 
17/46 = 37.0% $211.37 (average), $180.66 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2016  12/2016  $402.00 
Dollar loss, 7/2016  12/2016  $373.63 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 8/2016  1/2017  $411.10 
Compared to VMMXX  VTEAX vs VMMXX, 7/2016  12/2016 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 46 overlapping 6month periods  +$107.62 (average), +$116.23 (median) 
VWIUX: Vanguard IntermediateTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  501 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $275.69 (average), +$300.37 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 501 6month periods  5.59% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  5.48% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VWIUX  VWIUX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VWIUX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 192 periods 
192/501 = 38.3% $360.39 (average), $216.62 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWIUX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 91 periods 
91/501 = 18.2% $289.92 (average), $186.42 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWIUX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 167 periods 
167/501 = 33.3% $381.05 (average), $283.53 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/1979  3/1980  $2247.02 
Dollar loss, 10/1979  3/1980  $1579.19 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 10/1979  3/1980  $2316.45 
Compared to VMMXX  VWIUX vs VMMXX, 10/1979  3/1980 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 501 overlapping 6month periods  +$33.01 (average), +$87.44 (median) 
Longterm
VNYTX: Vanguard New York LongTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  398 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $290.19 (average), +$355.12 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 398 6month periods  5.89% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  5.29% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VNYTX  VNYTX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VNYTX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 136 periods 
136/398 = 34.2% $269.71 (average), $201.19 (median) 
Number of periods in which VNYTX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 76 periods 
76/398 = 19.1% $245.29 (average), $191.90 (median) 
Number of periods in which VNYTX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 119 periods 
119/398 = 29.9% $294.26 (average), $235.15 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/1987  9/1987  $1471.04 
Dollar loss, 4/1987  9/1987  $1145.81 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 4/1987  9/1987  $1404.51 
Compared to VMMXX  VNYTX vs VMMXX, 4/1987  9/1987 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 398 overlapping 6month periods  +$120.74 (average), +$148.04 (median) 
Balanced
VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  319 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $418.61 (average), +$464.29 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 319 6month periods  8.55% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  8.79% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VBINX  VBINX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VBINX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 92 periods 
92/319 = 28.8% $493.27 (average), $303.36 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBINX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 65 periods 
65/319 = 20.4% $520.96 (average), $350.90 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 87 periods 
87/319 = 27.3% $477.95 (average), $335.83 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $2821.72 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $2712.93 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $2398.30 
Compared to VMMXX  VBINX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 319 overlapping 6month periods  +$289.63 (average), +$360.61 (median) 
VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  297 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $353.46 (average), +$382.70 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 6month periods  7.19% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  6.68% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VSCGX  VSCGX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VSCGX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 82 periods 
82/297 = 27.6% $389.89 (average), $227.78 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSCGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 57 periods 
57/297 = 19.2% $401.25 (average), $198.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSCGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 79 periods 
79/297 = 26.6% $373.50 (average), $220.25 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $2410.69 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $2301.89 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $1987.27 
Compared to VMMXX  VSCGX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 6month periods  +$228.36 (average), +$278.46 (median) 
VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  297 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $402.50 (average), +$476.09 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 6month periods  8.21% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  9.40% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VSMGX  VSMGX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VSMGX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 82 periods 
82/297 = 27.6% $605.33 (average), $415.97 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSMGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 65 periods 
65/297 = 21.9% $602.19 (average), $399.18 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSMGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 82 periods 
82/297 = 27.6% $557.37 (average), $369.43 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $3181.87 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $3073.08 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $2758.45 
Compared to VMMXX  VSMGX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 6month periods  +$277.40 (average), +$346.23 (median) 
VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  297 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $312.92 (average), +$311.02 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 6month periods  6.36% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  4.33% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VASIX  VASIX 
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 mediumterm investment horizons (4 to 10 years). 
Number of periods in which VASIX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 76 periods 
76/297 = 25.6% $219.63 (average), $114.23 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASIX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 44 periods 
44/297 = 14.8% $230.22 (average), $81.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 83 periods 
83/297 = 27.9% $205.74 (average), $126.67 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $1467.87 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $1359.08 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2008  10/2008  $1292.11 
Compared to VMMXX  VASIX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 6month periods  +$187.82 (average), +$202.78 (median) 
VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  297 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $442.05 (average), +$559.01 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 6month periods  9.04% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  12.27% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VASGX  VASGX 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). 
Number of periods in which VASGX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 85 periods 
85/297 = 28.6% $819.06 (average), $559.08 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 74 periods 
74/297 = 24.9% $793.32 (average), $591.88 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 85 periods 
85/297 = 28.6% $774.96 (average), $607.83 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $3982.91 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $3874.12 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $3559.50 
Compared to VMMXX  VASGX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 6month periods  +$316.95 (average), +$450.81 (median) 
VWELX: Vanguard Wellington
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  528 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $564.47 (average), +$580.61 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 528 6month periods  11.61% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  10.11% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VWELX  VWELX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VWELX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 155 periods 
155/528 = 29.4% $539.01 (average), $390.77 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWELX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 105 periods 
105/528 = 19.9% $456.67 (average), $327.13 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWELX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 137 periods 
137/528 = 25.9% $533.15 (average), $415.04 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $2790.34 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $2681.54 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $2366.92 
Compared to VMMXX  VWELX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 528 overlapping 6month periods  +$320.75 (average), +$366.54 (median) 
VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  528 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $508.13 (average), +$481.18 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 528 6month periods  10.42% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  6.94% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VWINX  VWINX 
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 longterm investment horizon (more than 5 years). 
Number of periods in which VWINX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 148 periods 
148/528 = 28.0% $368.09 (average), $259.99 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWINX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 72 periods 
72/528 = 13.6% $301.63 (average), $212.78 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 142 periods 
142/528 = 26.9% $317.11 (average), $223.18 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/1979  3/1980  $1768.36 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $1520.45 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 10/1979  3/1980  $1837.79 
Compared to VMMXX  VWINX vs VMMXX, 10/1979  3/1980 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 528 overlapping 6month periods  +$264.41 (average), +$292.81 (median) 
Stock
VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  514 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $598.52 (average), +$628.27 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 514 6month periods  12.33% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  14.67% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VFINX  VFINX 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). 
Number of periods in which VFINX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 157 periods 
157/514 = 30.5% $889.91 (average), $684.39 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFINX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 132 periods 
132/514 = 25.7% $749.91 (average), $542.85 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 159 periods 
159/514 = 30.9% $794.85 (average), $631.74 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $4290.11 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $4181.32 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $3866.70 
Compared to VMMXX  VFINX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 514 overlapping 6month periods  +$355.98 (average), +$413.98 (median) 
VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  185 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $669.16 (average), +$796.88 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 185 6month periods  13.83% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  17.64% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VGT  VGT 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies. 
Number of periods in which VGT made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 49 periods 
49/185 = 26.5% $987.69 (average), $615.04 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGT lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 46 periods 
46/185 = 24.9% $956.10 (average), $529.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGT failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 49 periods 
49/185 = 26.5% $992.13 (average), $684.42 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/2008  11/2008  $4297.41 
Dollar loss, 6/2008  11/2008  $4179.59 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2008  11/2008  $3985.39 
Compared to VMMXX  VGT vs VMMXX, 6/2008  11/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 185 overlapping 6month periods  +$596.19 (average), +$706.95 (median) 
VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  326 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $540.30 (average), +$641.41 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 326 6month periods  11.10% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  14.50% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTI  VTI 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). 
Number of periods in which VTI made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 88 periods 
88/326 = 27.0% $941.44 (average), $713.26 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTI lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 79 periods 
79/326 = 24.2% $898.45 (average), $596.14 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTI failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 89 periods 
89/326 = 27.3% $886.60 (average), $607.98 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $4347.15 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $4238.36 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $3923.73 
Compared to VMMXX  VTI vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 326 overlapping 6month periods  +$410.67 (average), +$517.65 (median) 
VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  278 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $331.58 (average), +$401.30 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 278 6month periods  6.74% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  16.81% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTIAX  VTIAX 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies. 
Number of periods in which VTIAX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 109 periods 
109/278 = 39.2% $1048.04 (average), $922.46 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIAX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 100 periods 
100/278 = 36.0% $1011.79 (average), $878.06 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIAX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 106 periods 
106/278 = 38.1% $1040.63 (average), $862.71 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/2008  11/2008  $4837.89 
Dollar loss, 6/2008  11/2008  $4720.08 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2008  11/2008  $4525.88 
Compared to VMMXX  VTIAX vs VMMXX, 6/2008  11/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 278 overlapping 6month periods  +$216.79 (average), +$313.31 (median) 
VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
Length of holding period  6 months 
Total number of overlapping 6month periods  326 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 6 months on a $10,000 investment  $540.02 (average), +$641.35 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 326 6month periods  11.09% 
Standard deviation (σ) of singlemonth returns, annualized  14.44% 
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTSAX  VTSAX 
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 longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer). 
Number of periods in which VTSAX made less than VMMXX Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 89 periods 
89/326 = 27.3% $928.61 (average), $705.46 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTSAX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 79 periods 
79/326 = 24.2% $895.91 (average), $595.36 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTSAX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 89 periods 
89/326 = 27.3% $884.33 (average), $607.97 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009  $4348.43 
Dollar loss, 9/2008  2/2009  $4239.64 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 9/2008  2/2009  $3925.01 
Compared to VMMXX  VTSAX vs VMMXX, 9/2008  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 326 overlapping 6month periods  +$410.39 (average), +$517.51 (median) 
Notes
 ↑ John Bogle, in his 1994 classic, Bogle on Mutual Funds, suggested using a lowcost shortterm 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)
 ↑ For funds and ETFs, calculations are based on data made publicly available free of charge from Morningstar. Data for the CPI is CPIU, "CPI for All Urban Consumers," not seasonally adjusted, obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
See also
 Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (1 year)
 Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (5 years)
