Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (5 years)
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 (5 years) 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.
Holding stocks "for five years"
Authorities advice against using stocks for money you will need in less than five years; Vanguard says ten. If you are considering using stocks for money you will need in five years, then you should familiarize yourself with the data for stocks held for five years. See Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (5 years).
Vanguard itself puts all of it stock funds in risk categories 4 and 5 and says "these funds may be appropriate for investors who have a longterm investment horizon (10 years or longer)."
A few other authorities say:
"Do not invest any money in stocks you will need in less than five years.”—William J. Bernstein, The Four Pillars of Investing.
“A rule of thumb in investing is that you should not invest money in stocks or stock funds that you will need in less than five years.”—Jack Brennan and Marta McCave, “Straight Talk on Investing.”
“Owning stocks for the short term (less than five years) is foolish.”—Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Nov, 2004.
“Money you know you will need in the five to 10 years does not belong in stocks.”—Suze Orman, Suze Orman’s Action Plan.
Even Jim Cramer has said “If you need the money for something serious in the next four years, you cannot risk keeping it in stocks.”Jim Cramer, Getting Back to Even.
Money market
BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  307 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1078.11 (average), +$248.00 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 307 60month periods  2.07% 
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 307 periods 
307/307 = 100.0% $453.48 (average), $158.68 (median) 
Number of periods in which BTFXX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 95 periods 
95/307 = 30.9% $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 183 periods 
183/307 = 59.6% $969.77 (average), $967.11 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/2004  3/2009  $1820.56 
Dollar loss, 12/2010  11/2015  $0.00 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 8/2003  7/2008  $1961.07 
Compared to VMMXX  BTFXX vs VMMXX, 4/2004  3/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 307 overlapping 60month periods  $453.48 (average), $158.68 (median) 
SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  247 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1121.72 (average), +$1107.28 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 247 60month periods  2.15% 
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 247 periods 
247/247 = 100.0% $141.49 (average), $146.82 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWPXX lost money  0/247 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SWPXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 151 periods 
151/247 = 61.1% $551.19 (average), $578.76 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/1994  6/1999  $273.46 
Dollar loss, 9/2010  8/2015  +$4.92 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1119.22 
Compared to VMMXX  SWPXX vs VMMXX, 7/1994  6/1999 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 247 overlapping 60month periods  $141.49 (average), $146.82 (median) 
SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  249 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1136.98 (average), +$1106.67 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 249 60month periods  2.18% 
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 249 periods 
249/249 = 100.0% $139.81 (average), $165.03 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWRXX lost money  0/249 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SWRXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 152 periods 
152/249 = 61.0% $541.17 (average), $553.48 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/1995  6/2000  $242.28 
Dollar loss, 5/2011  4/2016  +$5.00 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1119.13 
Compared to VMMXX  SWRXX vs VMMXX, 7/1995  6/2000 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 249 overlapping 60month periods  $139.81 (average), $165.03 (median) 
SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  272 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1353.84 (average), +$1337.23 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 272 60month periods  2.57% 
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 272 periods 
272/272 = 100.0% $42.46 (average), $44.65 (median) 
Number of periods in which SWVXX lost money  0/272 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SWVXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 144 periods 
144/272 = 52.9% $518.52 (average), $555.28 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 12/2004  11/2009  $90.28 
Dollar loss, 8/2009  7/2014  +$3.95 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1118.67 
Compared to VMMXX  SWVXX vs VMMXX, 12/2004  11/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 272 overlapping 60month periods  $42.46 (average), $44.65 (median) 
TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  254 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1252.12 (average), +$1221.67 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 254 60month periods  2.39% 
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 254 periods 
254/254 = 100.0% $56.58 (average), $53.19 (median) 
Number of periods in which TSCXX lost money  0/254 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which TSCXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 146 periods 
146/254 = 57.5% $521.44 (average), $571.96 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2015  12/2019  $132.87 
Dollar loss, 10/2009  9/2014  +$4.89 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1114.31 
Compared to VMMXX  TSCXX vs VMMXX, 1/2015  12/2019 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 254 overlapping 60month periods  $56.58 (average), $53.19 (median) 
VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  264 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1290.53 (average), +$1297.62 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 264 60month periods  2.46% 
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 246 periods 
246/264 = 93.2% $77.87 (average), $71.88 (median) 
Number of periods in which VUSXX lost money  0/264 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VUSXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 146 periods 
146/264 = 55.3% $513.52 (average), $572.07 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 2/2005  1/2010  $176.79 
Dollar loss, 11/2010  10/2015  +$6.21 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1113.51 
Compared to VMMXX  VUSXX vs VMMXX, 2/2005  1/2010 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 264 overlapping 60month periods  $71.84 (average), $67.91 (median) 
VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  474 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2960.76 (average), +$2604.05 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 474 60month periods  5.32% 
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  0/474 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VMMXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 154 periods 
154/474 = 32.5% $494.57 (average), $525.12 (median) 
Dollar loss, 11/2010  10/2015  +$14.62 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1096.06 
VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  401 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2154.10 (average), +$2259.55 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 401 60month periods  3.98% 
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 401 periods 
401/401 = 100.0% $66.68 (average), $42.54 (median) 
Number of periods in which VMFXX lost money  0/401 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VMFXX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 143 periods 
143/401 = 35.7% $505.02 (average), $555.78 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 9/1981  8/1986  $386.74 
Dollar loss, 9/2010  8/2015  +$6.50 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1109.81 
Compared to VMMXX  VMFXX vs VMMXX, 9/1981  8/1986 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 401 overlapping 60month periods  $66.68 (average), $42.54 (median) 
Very shortterm
BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 13 Month TBill
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  91 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $85.97 (average), +$13.26 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 91 60month periods  0.17% 
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 91 periods 
91/91 = 100.0% $97.66 (average), $99.47 (median) 
Number of periods in which BIL lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 43 periods 
43/91 = 47.3% $23.51 (average), $25.47 (median) 
Number of periods in which BIL failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 91 periods 
91/91 = 100.0% $737.85 (average), $690.81 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2007  6/2012  $211.25 
Dollar loss, 2/2011  1/2016  $37.63 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1141.65 
Compared to VMMXX  BIL vs VMMXX, 7/2007  6/2012 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 91 overlapping 60month periods  $97.66 (average), $99.47 (median) 
FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  211 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1419.59 (average), +$1398.37 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 211 60month periods  2.69% 
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 24 periods 
24/211 = 11.4% $420.50 (average), $384.87 (median) 
Number of periods in which FULIX lost money  0/211 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which FULIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 82 periods 
82/211 = 38.9% $166.40 (average), $102.85 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2004  12/2008  $894.49 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$527.63 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 11/2003  10/2008  $746.85 
Compared to VMMXX  FULIX vs VMMXX, 1/2004  12/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 211 overlapping 60month periods  +$449.36 (average), +$464.14 (median) 
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  95 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $180.35 (average), +$92.75 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 95 60month periods  0.36% 
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 72 periods 
72/95 = 75.8% $36.23 (average), $32.52 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHV lost money  0/95 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SHV failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 95 periods 
95/95 = 100.0% $656.60 (average), $612.94 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 5/2014  4/2019  $74.45 
Dollar loss, 1/2011  12/2015  +$10.76 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 6/2009  5/2014  $1085.59 
Compared to VMMXX  SHV vs VMMXX, 5/2014  4/2019 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 95 overlapping 60month periods  $25.78 (average), $18.43 (median) 
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  149 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $1087.90 (average), +$668.06 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 149 60month periods  2.09% 
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 19 periods 
19/149 = 12.8% $37.85 (average), $23.28 (median) 
Number of periods in which SHY lost money  0/149 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which SHY failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 85 periods 
85/149 = 57.0% $402.96 (average), $417.21 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2013  10/2018  $97.49 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$163.25 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 4/2009  3/2014  $621.59 
Compared to VMMXX  SHY vs VMMXX, 11/2013  10/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 149 overlapping 60month periods  +$399.64 (average), +$337.04 (median) 
VMLTX: Vanguard LimitedTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  328 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2095.84 (average), +$2049.61 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 328 60month periods  3.88% 
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 79 periods 
79/328 = 24.1% $318.80 (average), $307.09 (median) 
Number of periods in which VMLTX lost money  0/328 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VMLTX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 58 periods 
58/328 = 17.7% $169.29 (average), $138.18 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/1995  5/2000  $787.94 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$451.01 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 7/2003  6/2008  $624.23 
Compared to VMMXX  VMLTX vs VMMXX, 6/1995  5/2000 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 328 overlapping 60month periods  +$426.54 (average), +$469.27 (median) 
Shortterm
VFISX: Vanguard ShortTerm Treasury
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  278 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2113.60 (average), +$2291.78 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 278 60month periods  3.91% 
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 7 periods 
7/278 = 2.5% $37.75 (average), $41.37 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFISX lost money  0/278 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VFISX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 76 periods 
76/278 = 27.3% $348.41 (average), $368.01 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2013  10/2018  $71.49 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$170.54 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $604.20 
Compared to VMMXX  VFISX vs VMMXX, 11/2013  10/2018 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 278 overlapping 60month periods  +$695.51 (average), +$592.63 (median) 
VFIIX: Vanguard GNMA
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  414 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $4436.15 (average), +$4003.39 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 414 60month periods  7.62% 
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  0/414 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VFIIX lost money  0/414 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VFIIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 1 periods 
1/414 = 0.2% $0.00 (average), $0.00 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 5/2013  4/2018  +$502.65 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$714.56 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $60.18 
Compared to VMMXX  VFIIX vs VMMXX, 5/2013  4/2018 
VFITX: Vanguard IntermediateTerm Treasury
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  278 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3101.87 (average), +$3398.19 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 278 60month periods  5.55% 
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  0/278 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VFITX lost money  0/278 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VFITX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 18 periods 
18/278 = 6.5% $207.17 (average), $189.33 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 5/2013  4/2018  +$4.02 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$215.93 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $558.80 
Compared to VMMXX  VFITX vs VMMXX, 5/2013  4/2018 
VBISX: Vanguard ShortTerm Bond Index
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  249 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2199.64 (average), +$2128.98 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 249 60month periods  4.06% 
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 2 periods 
2/249 = 0.8% $32.26 (average), $32.26 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBISX lost money  0/249 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VBISX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 42 periods 
42/249 = 16.9% $188.70 (average), $169.68 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2003  9/2008  $47.94 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$327.33 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $447.41 
Compared to VMMXX  VBISX vs VMMXX, 10/2003  9/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 249 overlapping 60month periods  +$922.85 (average), +$864.65 (median) 
VSGBX: Vanguard ShortTerm Federal
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  324 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $2577.15 (average), +$2731.89 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 324 60month periods  4.69% 
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  0/324 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VSGBX lost money  0/324 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VSGBX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 69 periods 
69/324 = 21.3% $219.19 (average), $201.62 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 6/1995  5/2000  +$30.83 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$250.18 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $524.56 
Compared to VMMXX  VSGBX vs VMMXX, 6/1995  5/2000 
Intermediateterm
VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  336 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3453.65 (average), +$3548.61 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 336 60month periods  6.11% 
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  0/336 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VBMFX lost money  0/336 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VBMFX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 1 periods 
1/336 = 0.3% $0.00 (average), $0.00 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2003  10/2008  +$39.41 
Dollar loss, 5/2013  4/2018  +$652.07 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 5/2013  4/2018  $122.66 
Compared to VMMXX  VBMFX vs VMMXX, 11/2003  10/2008 
VWIUX: Vanguard IntermediateTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  447 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3582.15 (average), +$3052.93 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 447 60month periods  6.31% 
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 64 periods 
64/447 = 14.3% $3541.41 (average), $3415.36 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWIUX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 1 periods 
1/447 = 0.2% $0.00 (average), $0.00 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWIUX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 34 periods 
34/447 = 7.6% $3088.48 (average), $3528.18 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 12/1977  11/1982  $7849.79 
Dollar loss, 12/1977  11/1982  $137.30 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 12/1977  11/1982  $5969.28 
Compared to VMMXX  VWIUX vs VMMXX, 12/1977  11/1982 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 447 overlapping 60month periods  +$801.80 (average), +$1252.20 (median) 
Longterm
VNYTX: Vanguard New York LongTerm TaxExempt
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  344 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3347.41 (average), +$3172.62 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 344 60month periods  5.94% 
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 22 periods 
22/344 = 6.4% $347.57 (average), $357.43 (median) 
Number of periods in which VNYTX lost money  0/344 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VNYTX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 9 periods 
9/344 = 2.6% $296.84 (average), $281.81 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 12/2003  11/2008  $770.14 
Dollar loss, 12/2003  11/2008  +$1017.17 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 10/2003  9/2008  $636.77 
Compared to VMMXX  VNYTX vs VMMXX, 12/2003  11/2008 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 344 overlapping 60month periods  +$1551.91 (average), +$1652.10 (median) 
Balanced
VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  265 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $4839.19 (average), +$4408.20 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 265 60month periods  8.21% 
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 50 periods 
50/265 = 18.9% $658.78 (average), $366.78 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBINX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 3 periods 
3/265 = 1.1% $524.48 (average), $383.93 (median) 
Number of periods in which VBINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 23 periods 
23/265 = 8.7% $621.82 (average), $532.47 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $2789.91 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $970.18 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $2366.15 
Compared to VMMXX  VBINX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 265 overlapping 60month periods  +$3472.18 (average), +$3553.53 (median) 
VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  243 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3101.13 (average), +$2737.43 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 243 60month periods  5.55% 
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 9 periods 
9/243 = 3.7% $658.03 (average), $527.14 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASIX lost money  0/243 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VASIX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 7 periods 
7/243 = 2.9% $416.26 (average), $412.48 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $1399.01 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  +$420.72 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $975.25 
Compared to VMMXX  VASIX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 243 overlapping 60month periods  +$1866.12 (average), +$1839.51 (median) 
VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  243 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3455.06 (average), +$2897.98 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 243 60month periods  6.12% 
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 26 periods 
26/243 = 10.7% $614.02 (average), $539.32 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSCGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 2 periods 
2/243 = 0.8% $248.09 (average), $248.09 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSCGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 10 periods 
10/243 = 4.1% $761.92 (average), $625.94 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $2308.30 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $488.57 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $1884.54 
Compared to VMMXX  VSCGX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 243 overlapping 60month periods  +$2220.05 (average), +$2170.73 (median) 
VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  243 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3898.08 (average), +$3361.96 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 243 60month periods  6.80% 
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 50 periods 
50/243 = 20.6% $765.60 (average), $421.90 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSMGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 3 periods 
3/243 = 1.2% $714.72 (average), $580.11 (median) 
Number of periods in which VSMGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 33 periods 
33/243 = 13.6% $565.56 (average), $373.98 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $3011.84 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $1192.12 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $2588.09 
Compared to VMMXX  VSMGX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 243 overlapping 60month periods  +$2663.08 (average), +$2616.12 (median) 
VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  243 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $4216.55 (average), +$3837.30 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 243 60month periods  7.29% 
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 81 periods 
81/243 = 33.3% $1124.46 (average), $880.50 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASGX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 17 periods 
17/243 = 7.0% $517.02 (average), $306.74 (median) 
Number of periods in which VASGX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 73 periods 
73/243 = 30.0% $921.98 (average), $827.74 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $3870.15 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $2050.42 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $3446.39 
Compared to VMMXX  VASGX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 243 overlapping 60month periods  +$2981.55 (average), +$2946.99 (median) 
VWELX: Vanguard Wellington
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  474 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $7353.43 (average), +$6741.95 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 474 60month periods  11.65% 
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 28 periods 
28/474 = 5.9% $1314.67 (average), $1220.14 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWELX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 1 periods 
1/474 = 0.2% $0.00 (average), $0.00 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWELX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 23 periods 
23/474 = 4.9% $989.39 (average), $900.46 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 7/1977  6/1982  $3155.26 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $110.72 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 10/1976  9/1981  $2522.53 
Compared to VMMXX  VWELX vs VMMXX, 7/1977  6/1982 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 474 overlapping 60month periods  +$4392.66 (average), +$4134.69 (median) 
VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  474 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $6487.01 (average), +$6003.33 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 474 60month periods  10.52% 
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 38 periods 
38/474 = 8.0% $1384.20 (average), $1105.93 (median) 
Number of periods in which VWINX lost money  0/474 = 0.0% 
Number of periods in which VWINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 24 periods 
24/474 = 5.1% $1462.55 (average), $1460.40 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 8/1977  7/1982  $3925.58 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  +$496.10 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 10/1976  9/1981  $2674.06 
Compared to VMMXX  VWINX vs VMMXX, 8/1977  7/1982 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 474 overlapping 60month periods  +$3526.25 (average), +$3461.27 (median) 
Stock
VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  460 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $8110.06 (average), +$8769.87 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 460 60month periods  12.61% 
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 98 periods 
98/460 = 21.3% $1950.32 (average), $1990.57 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFINX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 49 periods 
49/460 = 10.7% $892.25 (average), $796.92 (median) 
Number of periods in which VFINX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 102 periods 
102/460 = 22.2% $1503.42 (average), $1448.25 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $4760.22 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $2940.49 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $4336.46 
Compared to VMMXX  VFINX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 460 overlapping 60month periods  +$5214.23 (average), +$4869.13 (median) 
VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  131 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $8254.93 (average), +$9490.13 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 131 60month periods  12.79% 
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 12 periods 
12/131 = 9.2% $1521.32 (average), $666.36 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGT lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 5 periods 
5/131 = 3.8% $1426.21 (average), $753.09 (median) 
Number of periods in which VGT failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 8 periods 
8/131 = 6.1% $1812.93 (average), $1929.76 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $4942.99 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $3123.26 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $4519.23 
Compared to VMMXX  VGT vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 131 overlapping 60month periods  +$7701.26 (average), +$9410.77 (median) 
VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  272 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $6576.57 (average), +$6223.33 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 272 60month periods  10.64% 
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 77 periods 
77/272 = 28.3% $1736.71 (average), $1673.11 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTI lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 40 periods 
40/272 = 14.7% $696.45 (average), $555.81 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTI failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 79 periods 
79/272 = 29.0% $1344.13 (average), $1293.83 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $4539.19 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $2719.47 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $4115.44 
Compared to VMMXX  VTI vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 272 overlapping 60month periods  +$5180.28 (average), +$5146.28 (median) 
VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  224 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $3130.72 (average), +$1778.26 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 224 60month periods  5.60% 
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 85 periods 
85/224 = 37.9% $2116.79 (average), $1916.87 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIAX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 55 periods 
55/224 = 24.6% $1089.60 (average), $1019.98 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTIAX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 88 periods 
88/224 = 39.3% $1653.81 (average), $1412.22 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 4/1998  3/2003  $5362.13 
Dollar loss, 4/1998  3/2003  $3037.87 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 4/1998  3/2003  $4394.22 
Compared to VMMXX  VTIAX vs VMMXX, 4/1998  3/2003 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 224 overlapping 60month periods  +$2047.05 (average), +$767.67 (median) 
VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
Length of holding period  60 months 
Total number of overlapping 60month periods  272 
Average/median number of dollars earned in 60 months on a $10,000 investment  $6575.64 (average), +$6215.42 (median) 
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 272 60month periods  10.64% 
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 77 periods 
77/272 = 28.3% $1736.86 (average), $1673.04 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTSAX lost money Average/median dollar loss over those 40 periods 
40/272 = 14.7% $695.44 (average), $553.42 (median) 
Number of periods in which VTSAX failed to keep up with inflation Average/median real loss (inflationcorrected) over those 79 periods 
79/272 = 29.0% $1344.15 (average), $1298.61 (median) 
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009  $4542.25 
Dollar loss, 3/2004  2/2009  $2722.52 
Real loss (inflationcorrected), 3/2004  2/2009  $4118.49 
Compared to VMMXX  VTSAX vs VMMXX, 3/2004  2/2009 
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 272 overlapping 60month periods  +$5179.34 (average), +$5140.95 (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 (6 months)
 Using mutual funds and ETFs for shortterm savings (1 year)
