Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.

Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby zebrafish » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:05 pm

I have a virtually 100% index-fund based portfolio. Among my equities, ~2/3 = Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, ~1/3 = Russell 3000 index fund.

I ran my current asset allocation through Vanguard's portfolio watch tool, and it said I was about 10-15% underweighted in Small/Mid cap from the overall market.

It turns out that the Vanguard Portfolio Watch tool uses Russell 3000 as a 100% large cap fund. Per Morningstar, Russell 3000 is 75% large cap, 20% mid cap, and 9% small cap.

Isn't this an incorrect market cap breakdown on the part of the Vanguard tool for the Russell 3000? Anyone else have this experience?
User avatar
zebrafish
 
Posts: 502
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Inside the tank

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby KyleAAA » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:10 pm

Yes, the tool isn't very accurate for non-Vanguard holdings. Use Morningstar instead.
KyleAAA
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:35 pm

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby nisiprius » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:21 pm

Yes. For me, Portfolio Watch has been sucky and unreliable.

It's very sloppy on non-Vanguard funds, once making a small but meaningful mistake in my international/domestic percentages because it believed that a non-Vanguard fund with significant international holdings was 100% domestic.

It is not necessarily accurate even on Vanguard's own funds. A couple of years ago I contacted them regarding a discrepancy between how the fund page and Portfolio Watch classified LifeStrategy Conservative Growth. The set of holdings which the fund's page classified as "short term reserves" were classified by Portfolio Watch as "bonds."

The discrepancy was in effect "corrected" when Vanguard did a revamp on the composition of the fund itself--it no longer includes any short-term reserves, hence, no more discrepancy.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25730
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby zebrafish » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:22 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Yes, the tool isn't very accurate for non-Vanguard holdings. Use Morningstar instead.


Even for the Vanguard Russell 3000 funds, it is listed as 100% large cap blend on the Portfolio Watch Tool.

I think this is pretty lame on their part!
User avatar
zebrafish
 
Posts: 502
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:28 pm
Location: Inside the tank

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby livesoft » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:54 pm

zebrafish wrote:I think this is pretty lame on their part!

Many people agree with you on that.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
livesoft
 
Posts: 34184
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby grabiner » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:34 pm

Most Vanguard funds also go into only a single category. My REIT Index is considered 100% mid-cap blend, and my Value Index is considered 100% large-cap value even though it includes all the holdings of the Mid-Cap Value Index.

Morningstar's Portfolio X-Ray works much better, as it uses the breakdowns of allocation by fund which Morningstar already provides.
David Grabiner
User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 13281
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:58 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby abuss368 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:14 pm

Is also classifies REIT as tax efficient because it is an index fund.

Total Bond Index is now medium quality. I contacted Vanguard regarding this and they stated it is a mistake and should be listed as high quality.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + REITs
User avatar
abuss368
 
Posts: 6549
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:33 pm
Location: At the Beach

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby bengal22 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:51 pm

I use the Vanguard Portfolio Watch tool but I have to convert my Fid Total US stock market to Vanguard Total US stock market to get accurate allocation for small and mid cap. I have complained to Vanguard but they say they use Morningstar to categorize. that appears incorrect. Actually the Fidelity Portfolio watch is better
User avatar
bengal22
 
Posts: 741
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Vanguard Portfolio Watch Tool- suboptimal?

Postby Angst » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:43 pm

nisiprius wrote:Yes. For me, Portfolio Watch has been sucky and unreliable.

It's very sloppy on non-Vanguard funds, once making a small but meaningful mistake in my international/domestic percentages because it believed that a non-Vanguard fund with significant international holdings was 100% domestic.

It is not necessarily accurate even on Vanguard's own funds. A couple of years ago I contacted them regarding a discrepancy between how the fund page and Portfolio Watch classified LifeStrategy Conservative Growth. The set of holdings which the fund's page classified as "short term reserves" were classified by Portfolio Watch as "bonds."

The discrepancy was in effect "corrected" when Vanguard did a revamp on the composition of the fund itself--it no longer includes any short-term reserves, hence, no more discrepancy.


Vanguard's Portfolio Watch Tool has long been an embarrassment and people who want good information generally go elsewhere (M* and their own spreadsheets). I could dredge up examples, even including some of Vanguard's own funds. I used to complain specifically but have long given up on Vanguard in this respect. Vanguard has some real shortcomings when it comes to IT.

Imagine what it could be like if minds from sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, etc. were involved with how Vanguard displays info for its customers. We'd have all kinds of options and choices:

"My Accounts" / "Balances and Holdings" would offer:
- Sorting by clicking column headings
- Choices of Column Headings (include/exclude/positioning, etc)
- Option of viewing in older Vanguard display formats
- Automatic wasting of 20% of usable horizontal screenspace eliminated
- Ability to inc/dec font size without ending up with 6 wasted lines because of how columns like "Name" display
- 1 item per line
- Saving your favorite formats
- Option re: how funds are organized

I have to resist the desire to really go into specifics. There are so many ways that this could be improved, and there are so many ways in which the Balances and Holding page format is lacking, it would take too much time from my life with so little expectation of any consequence. Vanguard really is clueless in this area. They do have excellent index funds and ETFs though.
Angst
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: St Louis, MO


Return to Investing - Theory, News & General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 853211, adamthesmythe, caroljm36, Ged, Hank Moody, jjaster7, jjbiv, Ldevelopment, Logan T, Peculiar_Investor, retiredbuthappy, Rupert, ScottW, shum, StarbuxInvestor, targ, tomander, Yahoo [Bot], zed and 71 guests