Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

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Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by livesoft »

Quick without looking! ->

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?

(I don't care which specific index of a given asset type you decide to answer the questions for.)

Also, may I ask that you don't read the answers of others before responding?

Update below with the answer: viewtopic.php?p=4702670#p4702670
Last edited by livesoft on Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Atomic »

livesoft wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:15 pm Quick without looking! ->

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?

(I don't care which specific index of a given asset type you decide to answer the questions for.)
5.5%?
International?
Small cap?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by willthrill81 »

7%
US Bonds
US Bonds
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Will do good »

US Bonds 6.5%
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by IlikeJackB »

livesoft wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:15 pm Quick without looking! ->

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?

(I don't care which specific index of a given asset type you decide to answer the questions for.)
10%

Total International Stock Index

US small-cap value index
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Compound »

I’m happy to report that I have absolutely no idea.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by nisiprius »

OK, I'll play.

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?
6%

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?
US Bond Index

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?
US Bond Index

A problem, though, is that my answers to the second and third answers were influenced by quizmanship: would you have asked them unless the answer was surprising?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by MoneyMarathon »

livesoft wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:15 pm Quick without looking!
8%
International
US Bond
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by livesoft »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:46 pmA problem, though, is that my answers to the second and third answers were influenced by quizmanship: would you have asked them unless the answer was surprising?
Yes, I would have asked them knowing that some people would use "quizmanship" to answer. :twisted:

Thanks for participating.

I guess I'll reveal the answers by midnight Eastern time, so get your answers in soon if you wish to respond. I also wonder if the average or median of the Bond Index return responses will converge to the actual value?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Compound »

livesoft wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:07 pm
nisiprius wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:46 pmA problem, though, is that my answers to the second and third answers were influenced by quizmanship: would you have asked them unless the answer was surprising?
Yes, I would have asked them knowing that some people would use "quizmanship" to answer. :twisted:

Thanks for participating.

I guess I'll reveal the answers by midnight Eastern time, so get your answers in soon if you wish to respond. I also wonder if the average or median of the Bond Index return responses will converge to the actual value?
(Bold added by me.)

Or might they converge on the long-term expected value? Now I’m kind of wishing I would have taken a wild guess to increase your sample size.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by stlutz »

Should also add to the quiz: What hated (on BH) investment is outperforming all of the mentioned options this year?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by jj »

7.5%

US bond index

US bond index
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by desafinado »

11%
us bond index
us bond index
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

stlutz wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:32 pm Should also add to the quiz: What hated (on BH) investment is outperforming all of the mentioned options this year?
I'd have to guess momentum funds.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by JBTX »

8 percent.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Rowan Oak »

6.5%
US Bond Index
US Bond Index
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by petulant »

stlutz wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:32 pm Should also add to the quiz: What hated (on BH) investment is outperforming all of the mentioned options this year?
Gold? :P
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by milktoast »

6% bnd
Vtiax > bnd > small cap

That’s my guess

Edit. Hated investment. I’ll guess non currency hedged international bonds. I know that’s wrong, but why not.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by LittleGreenSoldiers »

Love the question. Very timely.

7%?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Tdubs »

North of 8.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by sandramjet »

Why should anyone do this especially without looking? I try not to guess about any thing financial....seems like a way to get in trouble. And if this is just an exercise to make some one feel smarter than me because they know the answer, fine...i already know I'm not the smartest person around. In short...what is the point?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by baconavocado »

sandramjet wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:37 am Why should anyone do this especially without looking? I try not to guess about any thing financial....seems like a way to get in trouble. And if this is just an exercise to make some one feel smarter than me because they know the answer, fine...i already know I'm not the smartest person around. In short...what is the point?
I think the point is going to be that, in spite of the fact that bonds get flogged here regularly, and despite all the predictions during the last year that they would be a terrible investment in the near term, they've done surprisingly well even as US stock indexes have been on a roller coaster ride.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by desafinado »

petulant wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:31 pm
stlutz wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:32 pm Should also add to the quiz: What hated (on BH) investment is outperforming all of the mentioned options this year?
Gold? :P
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by asset_chaos »

livesoft wrote: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:15 pm Quick without looking! ->

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?
About 10%
Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?
Don't know.
Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?
About the same.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Miriam2 »

livesoft wrote: I guess I'll reveal the answers by midnight Eastern time, so get your answers in soon if you wish to respond.
It's after midnight, Livesoft, and we are still up, breathlessly perched on the edge of our seats, awaiting your answer :D
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by thx1138 »

6% was my less than 5 seconds of thought guess. (Composed of two guesses really, a guess at the drop in the ten year interest rate and a guess at the duration of BND).

To be honest because of the way you phrased it my less than five second guess for the next two questions was US Bond. With five seconds more thought I remembered where we were in January and changed my answers to:

Total International
Small Value
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Smoke »

No idea
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by KlangFool »

10%
US bond index
US bond index

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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I won't even wager a guess, but my Liability Matching stake in fixed income has gone well above the amount I originally placed in there. There are timing issues, but my "personal performance" on the bond fund has been 9.9% for an annual rate. Not too shabby for an asset I hoped to almost keep up with inflation.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by livesoft »

The answers are
8.9%
US Bond Index
Small-cap Value Index

Sorry, I fell asleep. Here are the YTD total returns (source Vanguard.com):

8.92% VBTLX Vanguard Total US Bond Idx
6.95% VTIAX Vanguard Total International Idx
9.61% VSIAX Vanguard Small-cap value Idx

Someone mentioned "feel smarter". I had to look up all these facts myself. How could anybody really know them off the top of their head anyways?

Also note that Friday VSIAX gained 2%, so the 3rd answer would have been different on Thursday. That was my manipulation question.
What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?
As for stlutz's question, I was trying to think what the most hated BH investment was (and not what my most hated investment was), but I looked up that REITs in the form of VGSIX have YTD total return of 24.15%.

And for a little completeness Vanguard Total US Stock Idx has YTD total return of 16.6%. Of course, that's coming off a big drop in December, so it is not the same as 15+% gain after positive year.

Finally, total US bond funds have had a stellar 7.5 months. I'm not sure they have ever performed so well, so quickly (but I assume someone will let me know). It has been interesting to see all these folks worrying about interest rates on their CDs and MM funds when the riskier Total US Bond has been right before their eyes. Things like my TIAA traditional annuity are looking bad compared to Total US Bond Index. And my TIAA Real Estate Account looks terrible compared to US Bond and REITs.

[Added:]
The 1-year (TTM) total returns are (source Morningstar.com):

10.12% VBTLX Vanguard Total US Bond Idx
-3.04% VTIAX Vanguard Total International Idx
-9.65% VSIAX Vanguard Small-cap value Idx

+2.48% VTSAX Vanguard Total US Stock Idx
14.05% VGSIX Vanguard REIT Idx
+0.10% VTWSX Vanguard Total World Stock Idx

Those 100% stock portfolios are really taking it on the chin. Also YTD performances are misleading. But you all knew that already. :)
Last edited by livesoft on Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Dottie57 »

At 50/50 AA, i am delighted bonds have done so well this year. Glad I have them.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

and the total stock market index fund is up 16.58%.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by longinvest »

Interestingly, the YTD return of Total International Bond Index ETF (BNDX) is 9.58% which is higher than the YTD return of Total [US] Bond Index ETF (BND) 8.90%.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Kenkat »

livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:58 am The answers are
8.9%
US Bond Index
Small-cap Value Index

Sorry, I fell asleep. Here are the YTD total returns (source Vanguard.com):

8.92% VBTLX Vanguard Total US Bond Idx
6.95% VTIAX Vanguard Total International Idx
9.61% VSIAX Vanguard Small-cap value Idx
VSIAX went up 2.02% yesterday just in time to mess up your point a little! But yes, I remember many posts this time last year questioning buying or holding bonds right now because “rates are sure to keep going up”. I saw a post earlier this week asking about long term bonds which are up even more. Please stand back from the closing doors, the train is leaving the station.

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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by spdoublebass »

I'll Play Along

What do think the YTD total return of the US Bond Index fund (VBTLX, FXNAX, AGG, et al.) is?
10%

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or Total International Stock Index?
International

Which has a higher YTD total return: US Bond Index or US Small-cap value index?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by unclescrooge »

Did you know long term bonds had a return of 22% YTD?

And while emerging market equities and bonds both returned 4%, China ex-state owned companies returned 16.5%, almost as much as the SP500.

International developed stocks are up 8%, and gold is up 18%.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Watty »

One important thing to note is that both US bonds and US stocks are up significantly this year.

One of the reasons to own both stocks and bonds is for diversification since in theory they will tend to move in opposite directions and make your portfolio less volatile.

I did not take the time to look it up but even prior to this year there has been some conserve that stock and bonds are becoming more correlated.

My concern is that even with a diversified portfolio we could be in for a year when all asset classes are down at the same time and that could get pretty ugly.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by stlutz »

livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:58 am As for stlutz's question, I was trying to think what the most hated BH investment was (and not what my most hated investment was), but I looked up that REITs in the form of VGSIX have YTD total return of 24.15%.
Interesting--I did not know that about REITs! (Gold was what I had in mind :happy )
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by longinvest »

Livesoft, when I first read your initial post, I did it a little too quickly and assumed that your second question was about US vs International Bonds, not about US Bonds vs International Stocks.

I didn't participate as this would have been cheating, as I was planning a growth chart post (in a different context) and had already looked up the returns on Vanguard's site.

Why did you compare US Bonds to International Stocks, instead of comparing them to International Bonds?
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by livesoft »

longinvest wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:42 amWhy did you compare US Bonds to International Stocks, instead of comparing them to International Bonds?
I was working on my portfolio to see its current asset allocation and whether I had hit a rebalancing trigger. Since I don't own International Bonds, I didn't need to compare nor look at them.

At least now I know why my portfolio performance sucks. Those DFA small-cap and value-tilted portfolios a la Larry Swedroe must really suffer from "tracking error regret" compared to a 3-fund portfolio. That current thread "Larry Swedroe: Small Value Stocks are Cheap" could be bettered titled "Larry Swedroe: Small Value Stocks Are Big Underperformers." :twisted:
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by livesoft »

stlutz wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 amInteresting--I did not know that about REITs! (Gold was what I had in mind :happy )
I was also thinking of Gold and Bitcoin as hated things, but I still don't know what their YTD total returns are since I have not looked them up.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by stlutz »

livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:54 am
stlutz wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 amInteresting--I did not know that about REITs! (Gold was what I had in mind :happy )
I was also thinking of Gold and Bitcoin as hated things, but I still don't know what their YTD total returns are since I have not looked them up.
IAU is up 18.00%. Not as good as REITs.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by unclescrooge »

stlutz wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:58 am
livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:54 am
stlutz wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 amInteresting--I did not know that about REITs! (Gold was what I had in mind :happy )
I was also thinking of Gold and Bitcoin as hated things, but I still don't know what their YTD total returns are since I have not looked them up.
IAU is up 18.00%. Not as good as REITs.
I own REET, which about 66% US REITs and 34% international. It was up 18.5%, just a hair higher than gold.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by jebmke »

without looking, I'd guess 7.5%. My bond holdings are up about 5% but my duration is quite low and a high mix of short-term treasuries. So I added 50% to my performance.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by bampf »

livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:58 am The answers are
8.9%
US Bond Index
Small-cap Value Index

Sorry, I fell asleep. Here are the YTD total returns (source Vanguard.com):

8.92% VBTLX Vanguard Total US Bond Idx
6.95% VTIAX Vanguard Total International Idx
9.61% VSIAX Vanguard Small-cap value Idx

Those 100% stock portfolios are really taking it on the chin. Also YTD performances are misleading. But you all knew that already. :)
Are they really? I mean really taking it on the chin? If you compare VTI and BND, a quasi interesting comparison at least for my portfolio, for the last 6 months you are roughly -2% at 100% stock. At 9 months you are -3% give or take a nickle in 100% stock. At a year you are down 7%. At 2 years you are up 13% if you were in 100% stock. 3 years? Up 32%. 5 years? Up 45%.

I don't want to cherry pick here, but, if you are a long term investor, it is clear that it is really positive to be as much in equities as you can handle. Pointing out 1 year where things were upside down is probably expected, at least when you are heavy weight equities. Put another way, If you are still investing, a flat to slightly down market is ok (assuming it comes back).

Anyway, I am wrestling with the right level of risk for my portfolio and carefully looking at bonds. This is interesting news, but, I hardly think that the equities market is taking it on the chin, at least in context.
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Re: Quick (without looking) what do you think YTD total return of US Bond Index is?

Post by Kenkat »

livesoft wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:54 am
stlutz wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:39 amInteresting--I did not know that about REITs! (Gold was what I had in mind :happy )
I was also thinking of Gold and Bitcoin as hated things, but I still don't know what their YTD total returns are since I have not looked them up.
REITs seem to do well in falling interest rate environments as they pay out a high percentage of their income and so have some similarity to bond investments.
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