Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

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Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Stinky »

As of yesterday, the price of VFIAX (Vanguard 500 Index Admiral) is $321.84.

I have a number of other Vanguard funds, none of which have a price of greater than $80.00.

I'm just wondering - would there ever be a "split" of VFIAX to bring the price down? Yes, I know that there's no real economic effect of such a split (10x shares, 1/10th the price).

But I'm also wondering if Vanguard has ever "split" mutual funds when the share price increased above a certain level. I don't have a long enough history to know.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by anon_investor »

Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:15 am As of yesterday, the price of VFIAX (Vanguard 500 Index Admiral) is $321.84.

I have a number of other Vanguard funds, none of which have a price of greater than $80.00.

I'm just wondering - would there ever be a "split" of VFIAX to bring the price down? Yes, I know that there's no real economic effect of such a split (10x shares, 1/10th the price).

But I'm also wondering if Vanguard has ever "split" mutual funds when the share price increased above a certain level. I don't have a long enough history to know.
There is 0 need to do a split. Mutual funds are purchased in dollar amounts, regardless of share price.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

I asked a similar question and was basically told no.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:16 am
Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:15 am As of yesterday, the price of VFIAX (Vanguard 500 Index Admiral) is $321.84.

I have a number of other Vanguard funds, none of which have a price of greater than $80.00.

I'm just wondering - would there ever be a "split" of VFIAX to bring the price down? Yes, I know that there's no real economic effect of such a split (10x shares, 1/10th the price).

But I'm also wondering if Vanguard has ever "split" mutual funds when the share price increased above a certain level. I don't have a long enough history to know.
There is 0 need to do a split. Mutual funds are purchased in dollar amounts, regardless of share price.

It would be enticing though for newer investors.

Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?

You are right though, it's about dollars purchased at the close price. But, that doesn't mean noobs opinions mean nothing
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Kenkat »

The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

if you think that's high how about buying one share of Berkshire A:
$326,164.50 per share.

Sure they've got Berkshire B shares now but they didn't always.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Stinky »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
I agree.

But why do you think that Apple recently announced a split?
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?
Neither one. They both buy $100 worth of the underlying investments.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Kenkat »

Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:02 am
Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
I agree.

But why do you think that Apple recently announced a split?
I guess not everyone is on board with my master plan! :annoyed
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by anon_investor »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am
anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:16 am
Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:15 am As of yesterday, the price of VFIAX (Vanguard 500 Index Admiral) is $321.84.

I have a number of other Vanguard funds, none of which have a price of greater than $80.00.

I'm just wondering - would there ever be a "split" of VFIAX to bring the price down? Yes, I know that there's no real economic effect of such a split (10x shares, 1/10th the price).

But I'm also wondering if Vanguard has ever "split" mutual funds when the share price increased above a certain level. I don't have a long enough history to know.
There is 0 need to do a split. Mutual funds are purchased in dollar amounts, regardless of share price.

It would be enticing though for newer investors.

Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?

You are right though, it's about dollars purchased at the close price. But, that doesn't mean noobs opinions mean nothing
I would think the newbies would be scared off by the $3,000 minimum initial purchase price. But honestly, even if VFIAX's share price was $1,000 or $100, that has 0 impact on anything. No one is buying VFIAX by share and the NAV is determined by the value of the underlying assets (i.e. the S&P 500).
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by anon_investor »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:05 am
Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:02 am
Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
I agree.

But why do you think that Apple recently announced a split?
I guess not everyone is on board with my master plan! :annoyed
Only a few brokerages allow for fractional stock purchases right now.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Kenkat »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:08 am
Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:05 am
Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:02 am
Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
I agree.

But why do you think that Apple recently announced a split?
I guess not everyone is on board with my master plan! :annoyed
Only a few brokerages allow for fractional stock purchases right now.
Yeah, I was really speaking to the mutual fund side. It IS much easier to buy a single share of something like Tesla or Amazon than it used to be however.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by MrJedi »

I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by anon_investor »

MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.
Which is why I own VTSAX instead of VTI...
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

oldcomputerguy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:02 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?
Neither one. They both buy $100 worth of the underlying investments.

That was a rhetorical question.

Vanguard could simply make VFIAX 1 single share, and we all own infinitely small portions of that single share. At the end of the day, it's all the same whether there is 1 share or 100 billion shares.

Sometimes, I think this community exists in a bubble where it's assumed everybody has the financial prowess we do.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by oldcomputerguy »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:21 am That was a rhetorical question.
Gotcha. Sorry! :happy
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:07 am I would think the newbies would be scared off by the $3,000 minimum initial purchase price. But honestly, even if VFIAX's share price was $1,000 or $100, that has 0 impact on anything. No one is buying VFIAX by share and the NAV is determined by the value of the underlying assets (i.e. the S&P 500).

I agree..... the $3k minimum.

Back in the day of Investor versus admiral share classes, we had the issue of some noobs on here trying to figure out the best investment strategy until they had the $10k min for admiral funds (to avoid "high" ERs).

Personally, I like seeing higher quantity numbers on shares and smaller share price than vv. Yes, I know the underlying amount invested at a certain share price is the only part that matters.

The most tangible part that we can all relate to ---- I tend to keep most cash in $1, $5, and $10s. I don't care for $20s and definitely not $100s. And no, there is no strip club reference in this one. :D
Last edited by Helo80 on Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.

I agree. I also don't personally mess with ETFs, but I'm curious what Vanguard will do with these turds when they hopefully continue to appreciate (we're all long-term thinkers, right) and are now worth $1k, $1.5k or $2k.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by anon_investor »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:26 am
MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.

I agree. I also don't personally mess with ETFs, but I'm curious what Vanguard will do with these turds when they hopefully continue to appreciate (we're all long-term thinkers, right) and are now worth $1k, $1.5k or $2k.
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:15 am As of yesterday, the price of VFIAX (Vanguard 500 Index Admiral) is $321.84.

I have a number of other Vanguard funds, none of which have a price of greater than $80.00.

I'm just wondering - would there ever be a "split" of VFIAX to bring the price down? Yes, I know that there's no real economic effect of such a split (10x shares, 1/10th the price).

But I'm also wondering if Vanguard has ever "split" mutual funds when the share price increased above a certain level. I don't have a long enough history to know.
A split wouldn't effect a mutual fund because its value is based on the value of its holdings at the end of the day. I guess there is a chance a split could effect an illiquid ETF for a short period of time but I am skeptical.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
The value of splits in the current environment relates to the affordability of options which are tied to 100 share lots. For a very active or high flying stocks there is quite likely an active options market and a split makes it much easier for smaller investors to participate and meet finding requirements.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:30 am
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.

The unknown risk factor with Vanguard's decision is why I stay on the mutual fund side.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by muffins14 »

MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.
So now your emergency fund is $300 larger for a few months: maybe $12300 instead of $12000. Are you financially ruined? If so, invest $300 in your taxable to get back to your desired allocation.

Or now your bond allocation is 0.1% too high, does that trigger a rebalance?

I think you’ll be OK with that $300 til next quarter’s dividends
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.
If you are buying Vanguard ETFs with the new environment of $0 commissions I can see no reason to use Vanguard as your broker if you want to make fractional share purchases. I believe there are plenty of good choices out there that would allow you to buy Vanguard ETFs in fractional shares for $0 commission.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by 1130Super »

Stinky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:02 am
Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
I agree.

But why do you think that Apple recently announced a split?
So that they wouldn’t have such a high weighting on the Dow
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by 1130Super »

muffins14 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:37 am
MrJedi wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:13 am I had wondered this about the ETF version, VOO, which is floating around $320 now.

Vanguard as a broker doesn't do ETF fractional shares, though I know Vanguard has been pushing more toward ETFs. A cash turd of $300+ is starting to get significant.
So now your emergency fund is $300 larger for a few months: maybe $12300 instead of $12000. Are you financially ruined? If so, invest $300 in your taxable to get back to your desired allocation.

Or now your bond allocation is 0.1% too high, does that trigger a rebalance?

I think you’ll be OK with that $300 til next quarter’s dividends
But $300 is 5% of a Ira yearly contribution, some people only look at their investments once a year, to new investors $300 could be a lot
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by rkhusky »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:21 am
Vanguard could simply make VFIAX 1 single share, and we all own infinitely small portions of that single share. At the end of the day, it's all the same whether there is 1 share or 100 billion shares.
How many decimal places in number of shares would Vanguard have to store?

Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.

It would mess up my bookkeeping if I only received $999 worth of a fund when I sent Vanguard $1000.
Last edited by rkhusky on Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by peppers »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:24 am

The most tangible part that we can all relate to ---- I tend to keep most cash in $1, $5, and $10s. I don't care for $20s and definitely not $100s. And no, there is no strip club reference in this one. :D
Love the benjamins.

I guess it comes down to the clientele one has to deal with, :wink:
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by David Jay »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:07 amI would think the newbies would be scared off by the $3,000 minimum initial purchase price.
Precisely!

Vanguard really doesn’t want the Robinhood clientele.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Oicuryy »

rkhusky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.
With only three decimal places and a $320 price the rounding error is now ±16 cents per transaction. :shock:

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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Oicuryy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:27 am
rkhusky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.
With only three decimal places and a $320 price the rounding error is now ±16 cents per transaction. :shock:

Ron
I am assuming what they store and what they display are different. If not then I would consider pulling all money from any financial institution incapable of using a computer to do basic accounting.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by rascott »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:37 am
anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:30 am
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.

The unknown risk factor with Vanguard's decision is why I stay on the mutual fund side.

What risk factor?
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by donaldfair71 »

How do bid/ask spreads get priced using fractional shares in ETFs?

In other words, are we paying the spread every purchase (now, for example, I pay about a penny on a market order mid day for ITOT at about $78/share, will I pay a penny for a partial share? Doesn’t that really increase cost?)

Also, doesn’t fractional share execution really suboptimal? I use M1 and only very liquid ETFs, and still I settle for 2-3 cents a share spread when I can and do get them from Vanguard at a penny by using limit orders.

Will limit orders exist in a fractional ETF world?
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

donaldfair71 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:53 am How do bid/ask spreads get priced using fractional shares in ETFs?

In other words, are we paying the spread every purchase (now, for example, I pay about a penny on a market order mid day for ITOT at about $78/share, will I pay a penny for a partial share? Doesn’t that really increase cost?)

Also, doesn’t fractional share execution really suboptimal? I use M1 and only very liquid ETFs, and still I settle for 2-3 cents a share spread when I can and do get them from Vanguard at a penny by using limit orders.

Will limit orders exist in a fractional ETF world?
I just checked and it seems the Fidelity Mobile App supports limit orders on fractional shares.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by rkhusky »

TheTimeLord wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:33 am
Oicuryy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:27 am
rkhusky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.
With only three decimal places and a $320 price the rounding error is now ±16 cents per transaction. :shock:

Ron
I am assuming what they store and what they display are different. If not then I would consider pulling all money from any financial institution incapable of using a computer to do basic accounting.
I don't think so. I've never seen any extra digits in evidence when adding share purchases together (e.g.. 4.3134 sh + 5.8333 sh -> 10.1467 sh, but what would be displayed is 4.313 sh + 5.833 sh -> 10.147 sh).

Just imagine the rounding error for a share price of $300,000. I expect BRK must keep a few more decimal places.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

rkhusky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:21 am
Vanguard could simply make VFIAX 1 single share, and we all own infinitely small portions of that single share. At the end of the day, it's all the same whether there is 1 share or 100 billion shares.
How many decimal places in number of shares would Vanguard have to store?

Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.

It would mess up my bookkeeping if I only received $999 worth of a fund when I sent Vanguard $1000.

I'm being extreme, of course. But, I'm also thinking of investing noobs that don't understand $100 is $100 in something like VFIAX regardless of what the share price is.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

peppers wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:16 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:24 am

The most tangible part that we can all relate to ---- I tend to keep most cash in $1, $5, and $10s. I don't care for $20s and definitely not $100s. And no, there is no strip club reference in this one. :D
Love the benjamins.

I guess it comes down to the clientele one has to deal with, :wink:

:sharebeer

Haha.... I laughed.
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FIREchief
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by FIREchief »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?
Definitely 10 shares at $10. Same reason I have the pizza place cut my pizza into 12 slices instead of 8. 50% more slices for the same price! 8-)

mmmm.... pizza. :beer
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

rascott wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:46 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:37 am
anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:30 am
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.

The unknown risk factor with Vanguard's decision is why I stay on the mutual fund side.

What risk factor?
ETFs and the whole fractional share thing. I personally don't see the point of VOO when VFIAX exists.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Helo80 »

FIREchief wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:29 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?
Definitely 10 shares at $10. Same reason I have the pizza place cut my pizza into 12 slices instead of 8. 50% more slices for the same price! 8-)

mmmm.... pizza. :beer


LOL --- I'm the guy that calculate square inches of pizza and what they're charging for the various sizes.... :sharebeer
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FIREchief
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by FIREchief »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:31 am
FIREchief wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:29 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:41 am Which is worth more, 1 share of $100 or 10 shares of $10?
Definitely 10 shares at $10. Same reason I have the pizza place cut my pizza into 12 slices instead of 8. 50% more slices for the same price! 8-)

mmmm.... pizza. :beer


LOL --- I'm the guy that calculate square inches of pizza and what they're charging for the various sizes.... :sharebeer
Hate (not) to tell you this Helo80, but you're not the only one!! :sharebeer You just need to calculate the intersection of the population of analyticals with the population of pizza lovers. Could be in the millions! :D

My favorite pizza place offers a large 16" and a family size 24"(!). You do the math.... 8-)
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by rascott »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:31 am
rascott wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:46 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:37 am
anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:30 am
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.

The unknown risk factor with Vanguard's decision is why I stay on the mutual fund side.

What risk factor?
ETFs and the whole fractional share thing. I personally don't see the point of VOO when VFIAX exists.

Well, unless your brokerage account is with Vanguard, there's typically a MF transaction fee charged by most brokers to buy VFIAX.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Northern Flicker »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:57 am The concept of fractional shares has probably made splits unnecessary. In the old days, you needed to buy at least 100 shares to avoid higher commissions on a stock purchase. In the age of commission free trades, that’s mostly gone. People just say I’m gonna put 1000 bucks into VFINX and who cares how many shares it is. You can even see this effect with stocks such as Google, Tesla or Amazon, who don’t bother with a split even though their share prices are $1000+.
Round lots of 100 shares did not apply to mutual funds because they were not traded by brokers back then. Mutual funds are split sometimes:

https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... pr2018.pdf
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by donaldfair71 »

TheTimeLord wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:58 am
donaldfair71 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:53 am How do bid/ask spreads get priced using fractional shares in ETFs?

In other words, are we paying the spread every purchase (now, for example, I pay about a penny on a market order mid day for ITOT at about $78/share, will I pay a penny for a partial share? Doesn’t that really increase cost?)

Also, doesn’t fractional share execution really suboptimal? I use M1 and only very liquid ETFs, and still I settle for 2-3 cents a share spread when I can and do get them from Vanguard at a penny by using limit orders.

Will limit orders exist in a fractional ETF world?
I just checked and it seems the Fidelity Mobile App supports limit orders on fractional shares.
Thank you for that.

I may make an account just to check that feature out. It can’t be far behind at Vanguard
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Stinky »

Northern Flicker wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:18 pm Mutual funds are split sometimes:

https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... pr2018.pdf
Thanks for finding this.

It looks like Fidelity did a number of 10-for-1 splits back in 2018. I wonder if Vanguard has ever done the same thing?
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by Northern Flicker »

donaldfair71 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:20 pm
TheTimeLord wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:58 am
donaldfair71 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:53 am How do bid/ask spreads get priced using fractional shares in ETFs?

In other words, are we paying the spread every purchase (now, for example, I pay about a penny on a market order mid day for ITOT at about $78/share, will I pay a penny for a partial share? Doesn’t that really increase cost?)

Also, doesn’t fractional share execution really suboptimal? I use M1 and only very liquid ETFs, and still I settle for 2-3 cents a share spread when I can and do get them from Vanguard at a penny by using limit orders.

Will limit orders exist in a fractional ETF world?
I just checked and it seems the Fidelity Mobile App supports limit orders on fractional shares.
Thank you for that.

I may make an account just to check that feature out. It can’t be far behind at Vanguard
Vanguard has supported fractional shares for many Vanguard ETFs for several years if you hold the shares at Vanguard. Auto dividend reinvestment will buy fractional shares, and if you deposit to the mutual fund share class and have Vanguard convert the shares, you can buy fractional shares at NAV.

This does not work for BND because share conversion from VBTLX is not offered (I think they are not share classes of the same fund) and it generally would not work for ETFs VIOV or VONE because the associated mutual funds have a $5M minimum investment, but the strategy can be used for VTI, VV, VB, VBR, VOO, VXF, VEA, VXUS, VEU, VSS, and I think VGIT, VGSH, VCIT, and VCSH as examples.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by celia »

I've never heard of a mutual fund doing a split. That would be a bookkeeping nightmare, not just for the custodian but for the other brokerages that allow it to be bought/sold. And the "cost basis" might have to be updated everywhere.

What about existing wills/trusts (or those not yet "activated" by death) that say to distribute/sell 100 shares for a beneficiary.....

No, thank you.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by rkhusky »

Converting from Investor shares to Admiral shares requires the same sort of bookkeeping.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:31 am
rascott wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:46 am
Helo80 wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:37 am
anon_investor wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:30 am
I bet Vanguard will introduce fractional ETF shares soon, just like they offered commission free trading like everyone else (albeit a little later than everyone else). Vanguard already does ETF dividend reinvestment, so they have the technology to track fractional ETF shares.

The unknown risk factor with Vanguard's decision is why I stay on the mutual fund side.

What risk factor?
ETFs and the whole fractional share thing. I personally don't see the point of VOO when VFIAX exists.
Because some people like to be able to buy and sell assets from market open to market close instead of once a day at close.
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Re: Vanguard 500 fund price is $321.84 - could there be a "split"?

Post by PizzaEater »

TheTimeLord wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:33 am
Oicuryy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:27 am
rkhusky wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am Rounding errors start to get significant if the share price gets too high.
With only three decimal places and a $320 price the rounding error is now ±16 cents per transaction. :shock:

Ron
I am assuming what they store and what they display are different. If not then I would consider pulling all money from any financial institution incapable of using a computer to do basic accounting.
No, what is displayed is what you have. When doing transactions, money amounts are rounded to the nearest cent and share amounts are rounded to 3 decimal places. (Note that I also have Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge, and they round share quantity to 4 decimal places.)

A couple of examples:
On 8/17/2020 I bought $240 worth of VTIAX (Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Admiral), at a share price of $28.71.
$240.00 / $28.71/share = 8.359456635... shares, which gets rounded to 8.359 shares.
Note that I could have contributed anywhere between $239.98 and $240.00 to obtain those 8.359 shares. Additionally, if those where the only shares in my account (they weren't), they would have shown a dollar value of $239.99 (8.359 shares × $28.71/share = $239.99 (rounded) )

A second example, this time with reinvested dividends:
On 6/19/2020 my VTIAX holding reinvested dividends. I had 486.132 shares and the dividend amount was $0.1337/share, and the reinvest price was $26.52/share.
486.132 shares * $0.1337/share = $64.9958484, rounded equals $65.00
$65.00 / $26.52/share = 2.45098039... shares, rounded equals 2.451 shares
Sure enough, my dividend reinvestment yielded 2.451 shares on my Vanguard statement.

Now, let's do another dividend reinvestment, this time at Merrill Edge where they track 4 decimal places for shares.
On 8/6/2020 my BND (Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF) holding had a reinvested dividend, where I had 20.2822 shares, a dividend of $0.15874/share, and a reinvest price of $89.49/share.
20.2822 shares * $0.15874/share = $3.2195964..., rounded equals $3.22
$3.22 / $89.49/share = 0.03598167... shares, rounded equals 0.0360 shares.
So my dividend reinvestment yielded 0.0360 shares.

So, back to the OP's question, share price DOES matter (at least the order of magnitude matters), but the unit isn't "one share" it's 1/1000 share or 1/10000 share. With a share price of $321.84, and rounding share amounts to 3 decimal places, you can see that the smallest unit of the fund you can own (0.001 shares) is worth $0.32. This is what the "rounding error is now ±16 cents per transaction" statement is describing. If anyone asked me (they don't) I would prefer to see Vanguard mutual fund prices not get much higher than $100, to keep the price of a thousandth of a share around or less than 10 cents.

Knowing this, could you game the system by always contributing the minimum dollar amount to get the desired number of shares? In my first example I contributed $240 to obtain 8.359 shares of VTIAX, but I could have contributed $239.98 and also obtained the same 8.359 shares. Well, to do that you'd have to know the share price, and you don't know the share price until after the markets close. You could follow the associated ETF price (VXUS in this case) to guess what the closing price would be, but for VTIAX (priced at $28.71 at the time) you're only "saving" 1-2 cents per transaction. For the Vanguard 500 fund, at a share price of $321.84 you could conceivably "save" up to 16 cents (or alternatively avoid losing up to 16 cents). It's just not worth worrying about. My advice is to just ignore it and after several transactions the rounding will all even out. In order for this to be significant I think the share price would have to climb to at least $1000. And even then, if you normally contributed at least $100 at a time it wouldn't matter all that much.

I did a quick search and couldn't find any Vanguard mutual funds that have had a share split, but I did find a share split for some of their ETFs:
https://pressroom.vanguard.com/news/etf ... split.html
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