Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

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MrJones
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Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:24 pm

What's the easiest way to compare the total performance of a stock or an index or a fund with another?

The question I'm trying to answer is what would have happened if I had invested - bought and sold - in one ticker versus another on a certain pair of dates. I realize this is not as easy to answer as it seems. Here are the things I'm thinking about:

I need total performance, meaning both dividends or interest and appreciation.

I also need to factor in taxes, both annual ones on dividends and interest, and on capital gains. A tool that would let me enter my marginal rates on these would be ideal.

What else am I missing?

longinvest
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by longinvest » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm

There's Portfolio Visualizer https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio, but its granularity is monthly (when "Time Period" is set to "Month-to-Month") and it won't do taxes. It calculates total returns and shows charts of growth including reinvested dividends.
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VLB/ZRR

dbr
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by dbr » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:05 am

You can look up prices by date and payments of any distributions by date and then configure a spreadsheet to compute what you want, including whatever algorithm you intend to use to assign a tax cost.

pkcrafter
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by pkcrafter » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:50 am

The question I'm trying to answer is what would have happened if I had invested - bought and sold - in one ticker versus another on a certain pair of dates.

This is almost a totally useless exercise. What would have happened does not correlate very well with what will happen. Use index funds and you will get what the market or segment of the market delivers. Use some other method in an attempt to beat the market or it's segments and you face odds of 4 to 1 against you long term.

If you want to compare two index funds with the same benchmark simply take a look at Morningstar. Put the ticker in the stock/fund box at the top of the page and check performance and tax. You can't do exact dates here, but you can go to "chart" and set the time frame. Just put in the ticker you want to compare in the box next to "event." Slide the time arrows where you want.

http://www.morningstar.com/funds/XNAS/VTSMX/quote.html

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

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David Jay
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by David Jay » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:05 am

pkcrafter wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:50 am
This is almost a totally useless exercise.
I was thinking the same thing.

With my analytical personality, I need encouragement to “stay the course”. This sounds like a great way to create buyer’s remorse, getting me to jump from fund-to-fund chasing yield.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:20 pm

David Jay wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:05 am
pkcrafter wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:50 am
This is almost a totally useless exercise.
I was thinking the same thing.

With my analytical personality, I need encouragement to “stay the course”. This sounds like a great way to create buyer’s remorse, getting me to jump from fund-to-fund chasing yield.
Turns out that I'm interested in it because it could be an extremely valuable exercise. I have a bit over 10% of my assets invested in individual stock. Play money, as it's called here.

I too need encouragement to stay the course even with my analytical personality. Now if I can prove to myself that the payoff was not worth the amount of time and effort in maintaining individual stock, I'd just go 100% index.

In addition, some exercises are great to satisfy one's curiosity why understanding a lot more in the process. It's not much to ask for to be able to find an easy way to compare two tickers apples to apples.

pkcrafter
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by pkcrafter » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:43 pm

Mr Jones:
I too need encouragement to stay the course even with my analytical personality. Now if I can prove to myself that the payoff was not worth the amount of time and effort in maintaining individual stock, I'd just go 100% index.
It may take you 10 years or more to get a reliable answer to that question.

Did you get enough information to do the comparison with Portfolio Visualizer? Again, just looking at performance does not tell all. Individual stocks carry "specific stock risk," which is diversified away with a mutual fund. Based on that, don't buy a stock that won't outperform a diversified mutual fund in the future.

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

bradpevans
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by bradpevans » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:13 pm

MrJones wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:24 pm
What's the easiest way to compare the total performance of a stock or an index or a fund with another?

The question I'm trying to answer is what would have happened if I had invested - bought and sold - in one ticker versus another on a certain pair of dates. I realize this is not as easy to answer as it seems. Here are the things I'm thinking about:

I need total performance, meaning both dividends or interest and appreciation.

I also need to factor in taxes, both annual ones on dividends and interest, and on capital gains. A tool that would let me enter my marginal rates on these would be ideal.

What else am I missing?
Most trackers show price, so that doesn’t help with dividend stock (regardless of whether you take cash or reinvest)

I wish the various portfolio trackers had a toggle for “reinvest dividends”

As far as tax rate - much tougher since it depends on your total story, not just stock/fund performance

GibsonL6s
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by GibsonL6s » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 pm

Use this for stocks and ETFs, not funds.

https://www.dividendchannel.com/drip-re ... alculator/



Portfoliovisualizer is great to see how you did as a portfolio.

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nisiprius
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by nisiprius » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:20 pm

You can do almost everything you asked for, except for taxes, using Morningstar growth charts. See this article. Growth charts include dividends. The big Morningstar trick is that you must begin by plotting a mutual fund first if you want to get growth charts. You can then add ETFs or individual stocks via "Compare To" and it will give you total growth for those, too.

Source

Image

For example, over the last ten years, $10,000 would have grown to:
$24,931.59 in VTSMX, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund;
$14,062.03 in VBMFX, the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund; and
(shrunk) to $6,052 in GE, General Electric stock.
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.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:35 pm

Stockcharts.com compare mutual funds, ETF’s, anything with a symbol. Super easy.

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:31 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:20 pm
You can do almost everything you asked for, except for taxes, using Morningstar growth charts. See this article. Growth charts include dividends. The big Morningstar trick is that you must begin by plotting a mutual fund first if you want to get growth charts. You can then add ETFs or individual stocks via "Compare To" and it will give you total growth for those, too.
Excellent, this gets me most of the way there with zero effort. Thanks for the pointer!

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:34 pm

GibsonL6s wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 pm
Use this for stocks and ETFs, not funds.

https://www.dividendchannel.com/drip-re ... alculator/

Portfoliovisualizer is great to see how you did as a portfolio.
Nice - this shows a "with dividends reinvested" and "without" side by side. Also very useful, thank you!

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:57 pm

longinvest wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm
There's Portfolio Visualizer https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio, but its granularity is monthly (when "Time Period" is set to "Month-to-Month") and it won't do taxes. It calculates total returns and shows charts of growth including reinvested dividends.
Thank you, I see references to this all the time, and always thought it required a fair amount of setup and understanding. But I just gave it a shot, and it is easy to use and simple enough to quickly understand and obtain the information one is looking for. In under a half minute of work, it was able to show me a bunch of useful info to make a comparison such as this easy:

Image

longinvest
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by longinvest » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:03 pm

MrJones,
MrJones wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:57 pm
longinvest wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:30 pm
There's Portfolio Visualizer https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio, but its granularity is monthly (when "Time Period" is set to "Month-to-Month") and it won't do taxes. It calculates total returns and shows charts of growth including reinvested dividends.
Thank you, I see references to this all the time, and always thought it required a fair amount of setup and understanding. But I just gave it a shot, and it is easy to use and simple enough to quickly understand and obtain the information one is looking for. In under a half minute of work, it was able to show me a bunch of useful info to make a comparison such as this easy:
It should come with a warning, though: "Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."
Bogleheads investment philosophy | Lifelong Portfolio: 25% each of (domestic/international)stocks/(nominal/inflation-indexed)bonds | VCN/VXC/VLB/ZRR

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:21 pm

longinvest wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:03 pm
It should come with a warning, though: "Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Sure, but I was using it to evaluate past performance, not future.

Regardless, these types of analyses are useful at some level for the future at as well. A reasonably informed person is seldom looking for a "guarantee" with these things.
Last edited by MrJones on Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrJones
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Re: Easy way to compare funds, indexes, stock

Post by MrJones » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:23 pm

In summary: morningstar, dividendchannel.com, and portfoliovisualizer all provided useful info. See above for pros and cons and more details.

Vanguard provides after-tax returns as well, but only for vanguard funds and ETFs, and fixed for the highest federal tax bracket.

Thanks everyone!

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