Using mutual funds and ETFs for short-term savings (1 year)

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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 short-term savings (1 year) compares historical performance of similar funds that are appropriate for short-term savings.[Note 1]

Volatility--fluctuations in value--are 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 short-term bond fund instead of a money market fund?" This article tries to help with this kind of question.

Contents

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 exchange-traded 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 money--ended up with less than $10,000 at the end of the time period--and 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 short-term 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 Short-Term Treasury Fund, VFISX, beat VMMXX by an average of $117.10 while the Vanguard Short-Term 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 time--and thus the short-term future--may 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 "short-term" bond funds--like the Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund, with a duration of 2.7 years--will 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.

Money market

BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity

BTFXX: BlackRock Liquidity
7/1989 - 12/2019; 366 months total
(limited by range of available data for BTFXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 355
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $213.64 (average), +$69.26 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 355 12-month periods 2.14%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.72%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which BTFXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 332 periods
332/355 = 93.5%
-$90.64 (average), -$35.29 (median)
Number of periods in which BTFXX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 143 periods
143/355 = 40.3%
$0.00 (average), $0.00 (median)
Number of periods in which BTFXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 194 periods
194/355 = 54.6%
-$205.76 (average), -$183.56 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2006 - 8/2007 -$523.01
Dollar loss, 12/2014 - 11/2015 $0.00
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 8/2007 - 7/2008 -$560.01
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX BTFXX vs VMMXX, 9/2006 - 8/2007
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 355 overlapping 12-month periods -$83.72 (average), -$26.96 (median)

SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™

SWPXX: Schwab Government Money Market Portfolio™
7/1994 - 12/2019; 306 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWPXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 295
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $225.52 (average), +$142.94 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 295 12-month periods 2.26%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.62%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which SWPXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 287 periods
287/295 = 97.3%
-$29.18 (average), -$31.20 (median)
Number of periods in which SWPXX lost money 0/295 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which SWPXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 161 periods
161/295 = 54.6%
-$157.40 (average), -$158.49 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 6/2008 - 5/2009 -$77.94
Dollar loss, 12/2011 - 11/2012 +$0.94
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.84
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX SWPXX vs VMMXX, 6/2008 - 5/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 295 overlapping 12-month periods -$28.39 (average), -$30.51 (median)

SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money

SWRXX: Schwab Investor Money
5/1994 - 12/2019; 308 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWRXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 297
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $229.89 (average), +$164.84 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 12-month periods 2.30%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.62%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which SWRXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 289 periods
289/297 = 97.3%
-$26.46 (average), -$28.95 (median)
Number of periods in which SWRXX lost money 0/297 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which SWRXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 156 periods
156/297 = 52.5%
-$160.45 (average), -$150.54 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009 -$59.07
Dollar loss, 4/2015 - 3/2016 +$0.99
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.85
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX SWRXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 12-month periods -$25.75 (average), -$28.45 (median)

SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money

SWVXX: Schwab Value Advantage Money
6/1992 - 12/2019; 331 months total
(limited by range of available data for SWVXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 320
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $253.81 (average), +$210.65 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 320 12-month periods 2.54%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.63%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which SWVXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 266 periods
266/320 = 83.1%
-$9.89 (average), -$7.21 (median)
Number of periods in which SWVXX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 1 periods
1/320 = 0.3%
$0.00 (average), $0.00 (median)
Number of periods in which SWVXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 156 periods
156/320 = 48.8%
-$150.88 (average), -$145.37 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009 -$47.27
Dollar loss, 8/2009 - 7/2010 -$0.05
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.83
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX SWVXX vs VMMXX, 10/2008 - 9/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 320 overlapping 12-month periods -$8.00 (average), -$5.29 (median)

TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves

TSCXX: T. Rowe Price Cash Reserves
12/1993 - 12/2019; 313 months total
(limited by range of available data for TSCXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 302
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $246.79 (average), +$181.00 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 302 12-month periods 2.47%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.64%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which TSCXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 281 periods
281/302 = 93.0%
-$12.81 (average), -$10.77 (median)
Number of periods in which TSCXX lost money 0/302 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which TSCXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 157 periods
157/302 = 52.0%
-$152.85 (average), -$148.57 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2016 - 2/2017 -$37.36
Dollar loss, 10/2009 - 9/2010 +$0.83
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.84
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX TSCXX vs VMMXX, 3/2016 - 2/2017
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 302 overlapping 12-month periods -$11.76 (average), -$10.12 (median)

VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market

VUSXX: Vanguard Treasury Money Market
2/1993 - 12/2019; 323 months total
(limited by range of available data for VUSXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 312
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $247.79 (average), +$201.95 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 312 12-month periods 2.48%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VUSXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 260 periods
260/312 = 83.3%
-$16.43 (average), -$13.43 (median)
Number of periods in which VUSXX lost money 0/312 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which VUSXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 155 periods
155/312 = 49.7%
-$149.61 (average), -$142.59 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$70.89
Dollar loss, 9/2014 - 8/2015 +$0.93
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.31
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VUSXX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 312 overlapping 12-month periods -$12.81 (average), -$9.68 (median)

VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market

VMMXX: Vanguard Prime Money Market
8/1975 - 12/2019; 533 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMMXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 522
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $497.47 (average), +$502.27 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 522 12-month periods 4.97%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VMMXX lost money 0/522 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which VMMXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 196 periods
196/522 = 37.5%
-$153.20 (average), -$155.56 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Dollar loss, 4/2014 - 3/2015 +$0.96
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$381.34

VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market

VMFXX: Vanguard Federal Money Market
9/1981 - 12/2019; 460 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMFXX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 449
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $404.21 (average), +$426.85 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 449 12-month periods 4.04%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VMFXX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 426 periods
426/449 = 94.9%
-$14.76 (average), -$7.06 (median)
Number of periods in which VMFXX lost money 0/449 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which VMFXX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 154 periods
154/449 = 34.3%
-$149.73 (average), -$142.99 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/1981 - 8/1982 -$120.91
Dollar loss, 11/2011 - 10/2012 +$0.93
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$385.48
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VMFXX vs VMMXX, 9/1981 - 8/1982
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 449 overlapping 12-month periods -$13.85 (average), -$6.79 (median)

Very short-term

BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill

BIL: SPDR® Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill
7/2007 - 12/2019; 150 months total
(limited by range of available data for BIL)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 139
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $47.38 (average), +$1.00 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 139 12-month periods 0.47%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.33%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which BIL made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 139 periods
139/139 = 100.0%
-$26.95 (average), -$15.63 (median)
Number of periods in which BIL lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 63 periods
63/139 = 45.3%
-$6.69 (average), -$6.87 (median)
Number of periods in which BIL failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 115 periods
115/139 = 82.7%
-$166.25 (average), -$158.67 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 2/2008 - 1/2009 -$116.79
Dollar loss, 11/2014 - 10/2015 -$12.62
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$388.89
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX BIL vs VMMXX, 2/2008 - 1/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 139 overlapping 12-month periods -$26.95 (average), -$15.63 (median)

FLOT: iShares Floating Rate Bond

FLOT: iShares Floating Rate Bond
8/2011 - 12/2019; 101 months total
(limited by range of available data for FLOT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 90
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $154.55 (average), +$171.02 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 90 12-month periods 1.55%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.77%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which FLOT made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 9 periods
9/90 = 10.0%
-$13.18 (average), -$5.64 (median)
Number of periods in which FLOT lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 4 periods
4/90 = 4.4%
-$12.40 (average), -$11.80 (median)
Number of periods in which FLOT failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 56 periods
56/90 = 62.2%
-$54.30 (average), -$46.81 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$38.76
Dollar loss, 10/2014 - 9/2015 -$24.93
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 6/2013 - 5/2014 -$140.12
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX FLOT vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 90 overlapping 12-month periods +$89.82 (average), +$71.40 (median)

FTSM: First Trust Enhanced Short Maturity

FTSM: First Trust Enhanced Short Maturity
10/2014 - 12/2019; 63 months total
(limited by range of available data for FTSM)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 52
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $146.43 (average), +$148.64 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 52 12-month periods 1.46%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.30%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which FTSM made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 1 periods
1/52 = 1.9%
$0.00 (average), $0.00 (median)
Number of periods in which FTSM lost money 0/52 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which FTSM failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 38 periods
38/52 = 73.1%
-$68.09 (average), -$66.00 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$10.24
Dollar loss, 3/2015 - 2/2016 +$21.70
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2016 - 2/2017 -$147.00
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX FTSM vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 52 overlapping 12-month periods +$35.95 (average), +$32.37 (median)

FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond

FULIX: Federated Ultrashort Bond
7/1997 - 12/2019; 270 months total
(limited by range of available data for FULIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 259
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $297.55 (average), +$226.17 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 259 12-month periods 2.98%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 1.23%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which FULIX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 49 periods
49/259 = 18.9%
-$177.32 (average), -$74.51 (median)
Number of periods in which FULIX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 9 periods
9/259 = 3.5%
-$227.86 (average), -$276.78 (median)
Number of periods in which FULIX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 127 periods
127/259 = 49.0%
-$116.12 (average), -$73.88 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$689.73
Dollar loss, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$392.97
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$659.91
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX FULIX vs VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 259 overlapping 12-month periods +$84.39 (average), +$74.04 (median)

GSY: Invesco Ultra Short Duration

GSY: Invesco Ultra Short Duration
4/2008 - 12/2019; 141 months total
(limited by range of available data for GSY)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 130
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $122.24 (average), +$116.94 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 130 12-month periods 1.22%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.38%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which GSY made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 32 periods
32/130 = 24.6%
-$29.00 (average), -$11.32 (median)
Number of periods in which GSY lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 9 periods
9/130 = 6.9%
-$6.55 (average), -$4.42 (median)
Number of periods in which GSY failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 79 periods
79/130 = 60.8%
-$118.06 (average), -$77.62 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 4/2008 - 3/2009 -$96.37
Dollar loss, 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$19.69
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$406.52
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX GSY vs VMMXX, 4/2008 - 3/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 130 overlapping 12-month periods +$64.83 (average), +$78.19 (median)

MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active

MINT: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active
1/2010 - 12/2019; 120 months total
(limited by range of available data for MINT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 109
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $145.15 (average), +$161.74 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 109 12-month periods 1.45%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.47%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which MINT made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 2 periods
2/109 = 1.8%
-$14.02 (average), -$14.02 (median)
Number of periods in which MINT lost money 0/109 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which MINT failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 67 periods
67/109 = 61.5%
-$86.14 (average), -$70.94 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$23.36
Dollar loss, 10/2014 - 9/2015 +$22.14
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$334.48
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX MINT vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 109 overlapping 12-month periods +$90.74 (average), +$77.65 (median)

NEAR: iShares Short Maturity Bond

NEAR: iShares Short Maturity Bond
11/2013 - 12/2019; 74 months total
(limited by range of available data for NEAR)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 63
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $150.57 (average), +$148.38 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 63 12-month periods 1.51%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.34%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which NEAR made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 2 periods
2/63 = 3.2%
-$18.04 (average), -$18.04 (median)
Number of periods in which NEAR lost money 0/63 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which NEAR failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 37 periods
37/63 = 58.7%
-$58.87 (average), -$51.99 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018 -$24.16
Dollar loss, 7/2014 - 6/2015 +$53.57
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$131.60
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX NEAR vs VMMXX, 1/2018 - 12/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 63 overlapping 12-month periods +$59.19 (average), +$62.53 (median)

SHV: iShares Short Treasury Bond

SHV: iShares Short Treasury Bond
3/2007 - 12/2019; 154 months total
(limited by range of available data for SHV)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 143
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $78.22 (average), +$16.57 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 143 12-month periods 0.78%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.46%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which SHV made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 78 periods
78/143 = 54.5%
-$17.21 (average), -$10.52 (median)
Number of periods in which SHV lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 6 periods
6/143 = 4.2%
-$0.68 (average), -$0.49 (median)
Number of periods in which SHV failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 109 periods
109/143 = 76.2%
-$160.64 (average), -$150.73 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 4/2008 - 3/2009 -$55.21
Dollar loss, 9/2011 - 8/2012 -$1.49
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2010 - 9/2011 -$376.90
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX SHV vs VMMXX, 4/2008 - 3/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 143 overlapping 12-month periods -$7.17 (average), -$0.78 (median)

SHY: iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond

SHY: iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond
9/2002 - 12/2019; 208 months total
(limited by range of available data for SHY)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 197
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $194.80 (average), +$118.63 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 197 12-month periods 1.95%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 1.29%
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which SHY made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 60 periods
60/197 = 30.5%
-$98.43 (average), -$92.87 (median)
Number of periods in which SHY lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 12 periods
12/197 = 6.1%
-$24.41 (average), -$20.48 (median)
Number of periods in which SHY failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 120 periods
120/197 = 60.9%
-$159.88 (average), -$153.10 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 7/2005 - 6/2006 -$237.14
Dollar loss, 4/2004 - 3/2005 -$52.71
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/2004 - 9/2005 -$388.31
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX SHY vs VMMXX, 7/2005 - 6/2006
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 197 overlapping 12-month periods +$53.50 (average), +$47.28 (median)

VUBFX: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond

VUBFX: Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond
4/2015 - 12/2019; 57 months total
(limited by range of available data for VUBFX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 46
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $168.45 (average), +$123.50 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 46 12-month periods 1.68%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.44%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VUBFX VUBFX
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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VUBFX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 11 periods
11/46 = 23.9%
-$14.68 (average), -$17.19 (median)
Number of periods in which VUBFX lost money 0/46 = 0.0%
Number of periods in which VUBFX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 30 periods
30/46 = 65.2%
-$93.18 (average), -$88.66 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2017 - 8/2018 -$25.73
Dollar loss, 4/2015 - 3/2016 +$64.24
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$165.89
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VUBFX vs VMMXX, 9/2017 - 8/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 46 overlapping 12-month periods +$44.23 (average), +$48.77 (median)

VMLTX: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt

VMLTX: Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt
10/1987 - 12/2019; 387 months total
(limited by range of available data for VMLTX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 376
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $393.10 (average), +$381.91 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 376 12-month periods 3.93%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VMLTX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 144 periods
144/376 = 38.3%
-$145.49 (average), -$129.31 (median)
Number of periods in which VMLTX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 8 periods
8/376 = 2.1%
-$14.89 (average), -$11.72 (median)
Number of periods in which VMLTX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 110 periods
110/376 = 29.3%
-$142.83 (average), -$137.38 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000 -$443.89
Dollar loss, 12/2015 - 11/2016 -$34.62
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$364.10
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VMLTX vs VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 376 overlapping 12-month periods +$64.16 (average), +$53.65 (median)

Short-term

VFIIX: Vanguard GNMA

VFIIX: Vanguard GNMA
8/1980 - 12/2019; 473 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFIIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 462
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $760.28 (average), +$672.92 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 462 12-month periods 7.60%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VFIIX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 109 periods
109/462 = 23.6%
-$304.08 (average), -$195.84 (median)
Number of periods in which VFIIX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 33 periods
33/462 = 7.1%
-$125.91 (average), -$89.60 (median)
Number of periods in which VFIIX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 92 periods
92/462 = 19.9%
-$260.46 (average), -$212.85 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/1980 - 8/1981 -$2216.48
Dollar loss, 9/1980 - 8/1981 -$605.85
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 9/1980 - 8/1981 -$1686.28
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VFIIX vs VMMXX, 9/1980 - 8/1981
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 462 overlapping 12-month periods +$307.89 (average), +$303.89 (median)

VFISX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury

VFISX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury
12/1991 - 12/2019; 337 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFISX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 326
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $382.28 (average), +$306.98 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 326 12-month periods 3.82%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VFISX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 97 periods
97/326 = 29.8%
-$131.29 (average), -$109.94 (median)
Number of periods in which VFISX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 19 periods
19/326 = 5.8%
-$32.68 (average), -$31.99 (median)
Number of periods in which VFISX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 132 periods
132/326 = 40.5%
-$150.49 (average), -$140.03 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$456.03
Dollar loss, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$69.26
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$369.35
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VFISX vs VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 326 overlapping 12-month periods +$118.69 (average), +$92.71 (median)

VFITX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury

VFITX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury
12/1991 - 12/2019; 337 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFITX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 326
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $553.47 (average), +$490.60 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 326 12-month periods 5.53%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VFITX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 95 periods
95/326 = 29.1%
-$298.08 (average), -$231.94 (median)
Number of periods in which VFITX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 56 periods
56/326 = 17.2%
-$192.03 (average), -$178.95 (median)
Number of periods in which VFITX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 90 periods
90/326 = 27.6%
-$321.44 (average), -$315.29 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000 -$966.09
Dollar loss, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$529.38
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 10/1993 - 9/1994 -$791.88
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VFITX vs VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 326 overlapping 12-month periods +$289.88 (average), +$289.77 (median)

VGSH: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund

VGSH: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund
1/2010 - 12/2019; 120 months total
(limited by range of available data for VGSH)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 109
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $95.87 (average), +$65.98 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 109 12-month periods 0.96%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.81%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VGSH VGSH
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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VGSH made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 24 periods
24/109 = 22.0%
-$95.95 (average), -$81.72 (median)
Number of periods in which VGSH lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 10 periods
10/109 = 9.2%
-$16.51 (average), -$15.60 (median)
Number of periods in which VGSH failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 82 periods
82/109 = 75.2%
-$146.47 (average), -$142.62 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$180.27
Dollar loss, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$39.96
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$324.01
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VGSH vs VMMXX, 8/2017 - 7/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 109 overlapping 12-month periods +$41.46 (average), +$48.43 (median)

VBISX: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index

VBISX: Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index
5/1994 - 12/2019; 308 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBISX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 297
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $413.92 (average), +$388.54 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 297 12-month periods 4.14%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VBISX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 67 periods
67/297 = 22.6%
-$128.70 (average), -$122.27 (median)
Number of periods in which VBISX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 11 periods
11/297 = 3.7%
-$41.49 (average), -$43.48 (median)
Number of periods in which VBISX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 92 periods
92/297 = 31.0%
-$149.68 (average), -$141.21 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000 -$356.95
Dollar loss, 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$66.54
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$413.11
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VBISX vs VMMXX, 2/1999 - 1/2000
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 297 overlapping 12-month periods +$158.28 (average), +$148.71 (median)

VSBSX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index

VSBSX: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index
1/2010 - 12/2019; 120 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSBSX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 109
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $95.30 (average), +$65.91 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 109 12-month periods 0.95%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 0.81%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VSBSX VSBSX
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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VSBSX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 24 periods
24/109 = 22.0%
-$94.78 (average), -$82.29 (median)
Number of periods in which VSBSX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 10 periods
10/109 = 9.2%
-$15.03 (average), -$13.41 (median)
Number of periods in which VSBSX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 82 periods
82/109 = 75.2%
-$146.94 (average), -$142.59 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 10/2017 - 9/2018 -$177.70
Dollar loss, 5/2017 - 4/2018 -$37.27
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 8/2017 - 7/2018 -$319.22
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VSBSX vs VMMXX, 10/2017 - 9/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 109 overlapping 12-month periods +$40.89 (average), +$46.26 (median)

VSGBX: Vanguard Short-Term Federal

VSGBX: Vanguard Short-Term Federal
2/1988 - 12/2019; 383 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSGBX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 372
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $473.72 (average), +$458.01 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 372 12-month periods 4.74%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VSGBX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 100 periods
100/372 = 26.9%
-$132.79 (average), -$104.81 (median)
Number of periods in which VSGBX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 24 periods
24/372 = 6.5%
-$32.78 (average), -$29.42 (median)
Number of periods in which VSGBX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 116 periods
116/372 = 31.2%
-$151.74 (average), -$144.23 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$502.65
Dollar loss, 1/1994 - 12/1994 -$94.36
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2004 - 10/2005 -$375.84
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VSGBX vs VMMXX, 1/1994 - 12/1994
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 372 overlapping 12-month periods +$149.24 (average), +$130.76 (median)

VTIPX: Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index

VTIPX: Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index
12/2012 - 12/2019; 85 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTIPX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 74
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $67.70 (average), +$57.44 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 74 12-month periods 0.68%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 1.54%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTIPX VTIPX
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 short-term reserves portion of a long-term investment portfolio or for investors with short-term investment horizons (3 years or less).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTIPX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 45 periods
45/74 = 60.8%
-$96.16 (average), -$95.75 (median)
Number of periods in which VTIPX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 25 periods
25/74 = 33.8%
-$111.22 (average), -$121.98 (median)
Number of periods in which VTIPX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 55 periods
55/74 = 74.3%
-$154.42 (average), -$157.31 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/2014 - 8/2015 -$224.53
Dollar loss, 9/2014 - 8/2015 -$222.98
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 4/2013 - 3/2014 -$347.89
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTIPX vs VMMXX, 9/2014 - 8/2015
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 74 overlapping 12-month periods -$10.37 (average), -$27.99 (median)

Intermediate-term

VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

VBMFX: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index
2/1987 - 12/2019; 395 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBMFX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 384
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $607.22 (average), +$582.82 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 384 12-month periods 6.07%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VBMFX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 105 periods
105/384 = 27.3%
-$216.49 (average), -$170.36 (median)
Number of periods in which VBMFX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 38 periods
38/384 = 9.9%
-$126.38 (average), -$100.58 (median)
Number of periods in which VBMFX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 82 periods
82/384 = 21.4%
-$245.39 (average), -$215.60 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$743.09
Dollar loss, 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$372.88
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/1993 - 10/1994 -$633.69
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VBMFX vs VMMXX, 11/1993 - 10/1994
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 384 overlapping 12-month periods +$270.52 (average), +$285.73 (median)

VTEB: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund

VTEB: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund
10/2015 - 12/2019; 51 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTEB)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 40
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $295.12 (average), +$162.81 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 40 12-month periods 2.95%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 3.03%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTEB VTEB
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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTEB made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 18 periods
18/40 = 45.0%
-$78.49 (average), -$61.60 (median)
Number of periods in which VTEB lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 5 periods
5/40 = 12.5%
-$38.45 (average), -$28.61 (median)
Number of periods in which VTEB failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 21 periods
21/40 = 52.5%
-$180.10 (average), -$176.11 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$262.26
Dollar loss, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$85.35
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$337.60
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTEB vs VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 40 overlapping 12-month periods +$155.70 (average), +$62.09 (median)

VTEAX: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index

VTEAX: Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index
10/2015 - 12/2019; 51 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTEAX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 40
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $295.55 (average), +$160.86 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 40 12-month periods 2.96%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month returns, annualized 3.02%
Link to Vanguard's web page for VTEAX VTEAX
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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTEAX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 18 periods
18/40 = 45.0%
-$77.15 (average), -$59.77 (median)
Number of periods in which VTEAX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 4 periods
4/40 = 10.0%
-$43.59 (average), -$44.69 (median)
Number of periods in which VTEAX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 21 periods
21/40 = 52.5%
-$179.08 (average), -$174.01 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$261.41
Dollar loss, 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$84.50
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2017 - 10/2018 -$336.75
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTEAX vs VMMXX, 11/2017 - 10/2018
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 40 overlapping 12-month periods +$156.13 (average), +$60.88 (median)

VWIUX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt

VWIUX: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt
11/1977 - 12/2019; 506 months total
(limited by range of available data for VWIUX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 495
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $567.24 (average), +$543.55 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 495 12-month periods 5.67%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VWIUX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 184 periods
184/495 = 37.2%
-$588.72 (average), -$233.87 (median)
Number of periods in which VWIUX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 67 periods
67/495 = 13.5%
-$407.91 (average), -$212.28 (median)
Number of periods in which VWIUX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 147 periods
147/495 = 29.7%
-$620.38 (average), -$271.88 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 9/1980 - 8/1981 -$3159.91
Dollar loss, 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$1563.90
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$3039.55
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VWIUX vs VMMXX, 9/1980 - 8/1981
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 495 overlapping 12-month periods +$71.51 (average), +$150.15 (median)

Long-term

VNYTX: Vanguard New York Long-Term Tax-Exempt

VNYTX: Vanguard New York Long-Term Tax-Exempt
6/1986 - 12/2019; 403 months total
(limited by range of available data for VNYTX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 392
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $580.88 (average), +$605.74 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 392 12-month periods 5.81%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VNYTX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 124 periods
124/392 = 31.6%
-$327.51 (average), -$226.70 (median)
Number of periods in which VNYTX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 47 periods
47/392 = 12.0%
-$260.35 (average), -$288.70 (median)
Number of periods in which VNYTX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 116 periods
116/392 = 29.6%
-$294.57 (average), -$219.35 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$1381.28
Dollar loss, 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$750.14
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/1986 - 10/1987 -$1203.45
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VNYTX vs VMMXX, 11/1986 - 10/1987
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 392 overlapping 12-month periods +$238.36 (average), +$250.44 (median)

Balanced

VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index

VBINX: Vanguard Balanced Index
1/1993 - 12/2019; 324 months total
(limited by range of available data for VBINX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 313
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $849.61 (average), +$985.16 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 313 12-month periods 8.50%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VBINX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 66 periods
66/313 = 21.1%
-$959.42 (average), -$773.22 (median)
Number of periods in which VBINX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 55 periods
55/313 = 17.6%
-$783.36 (average), -$485.73 (median)
Number of periods in which VBINX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 68 periods
68/313 = 21.7%
-$824.47 (average), -$631.16 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3000.48
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2767.23
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2790.85
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VBINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 313 overlapping 12-month periods +$588.88 (average), +$753.11 (median)

VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth

VSCGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth
11/1994 - 12/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSCGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $698.59 (average), +$781.79 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 6.99%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VSCGX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 59 periods
59/291 = 20.3%
-$744.00 (average), -$535.80 (median)
Number of periods in which VSCGX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 44 periods
44/291 = 15.1%
-$652.59 (average), -$395.93 (median)
Number of periods in which VSCGX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 63 periods
63/291 = 21.6%
-$612.24 (average), -$368.79 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2660.09
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2426.84
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2450.46
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VSCGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 291 overlapping 12-month periods +$448.82 (average), +$536.07 (median)

VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth

VSMGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth
11/1994 - 12/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for VSMGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $799.49 (average), +$993.15 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 7.99%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VSMGX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 67 periods
67/291 = 23.0%
-$1032.23 (average), -$884.19 (median)
Number of periods in which VSMGX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 59 periods
59/291 = 20.3%
-$869.41 (average), -$585.99 (median)
Number of periods in which VSMGX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 68 periods
68/291 = 23.4%
-$941.55 (average), -$707.64 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3459.91
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3226.66
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3250.28
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VSMGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 291 overlapping 12-month periods +$549.71 (average), +$744.56 (median)

VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income

VASIX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Income
11/1994 - 12/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for VASIX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $614.61 (average), +$598.96 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 6.15%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 medium-term investment horizons (4 to 10 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VASIX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 53 periods
53/291 = 18.2%
-$375.77 (average), -$202.98 (median)
Number of periods in which VASIX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 22 periods
22/291 = 7.6%
-$504.99 (average), -$163.66 (median)
Number of periods in which VASIX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 46 periods
46/291 = 15.8%
-$371.38 (average), -$236.60 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1662.90
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1429.66
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$1594.10
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VASIX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 291 overlapping 12-month periods +$364.84 (average), +$370.02 (median)

VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth

VASGX: Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth
11/1994 - 12/2019; 302 months total
(limited by range of available data for VASGX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 291
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $883.17 (average), +$1175.63 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 291 12-month periods 8.83%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VASGX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 76 periods
76/291 = 26.1%
-$1293.38 (average), -$1175.26 (median)
Number of periods in which VASGX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 67 periods
67/291 = 23.0%
-$1179.95 (average), -$885.60 (median)
Number of periods in which VASGX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 77 periods
77/291 = 26.5%
-$1211.60 (average), -$978.27 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4293.05
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4059.80
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4083.42
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VASGX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 291 overlapping 12-month periods +$633.39 (average), +$935.78 (median)

VWELX: Vanguard Wellington

VWELX: Vanguard Wellington
8/1975 - 12/2019; 533 months total
(limited by start of available data for VMMXX, and by end of available data for VWELX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 522
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1145.23 (average), +$1169.91 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 522 12-month periods 11.45%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VWELX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 127 periods
127/522 = 24.3%
-$783.88 (average), -$655.82 (median)
Number of periods in which VWELX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 70 periods
70/522 = 13.4%
-$610.53 (average), -$373.47 (median)
Number of periods in which VWELX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 117 periods
117/522 = 22.4%
-$685.15 (average), -$511.66 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$3104.03
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2870.78
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$2894.40
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VWELX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 522 overlapping 12-month periods +$647.76 (average), +$748.54 (median)

VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income

VWINX: Vanguard Wellesley Income
8/1975 - 12/2019; 533 months total
(limited by start of available data for VMMXX, and by end of available data for VWINX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 522
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1035.54 (average), +$922.50 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 522 12-month periods 10.36%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (more than 5 years).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VWINX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 130 periods
130/522 = 24.9%
-$549.84 (average), -$470.07 (median)
Number of periods in which VWINX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 38 periods
38/522 = 7.3%
-$479.82 (average), -$353.96 (median)
Number of periods in which VWINX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 116 periods
116/522 = 22.2%
-$474.54 (average), -$404.59 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1884.28
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$1651.03
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 4/1979 - 3/1980 -$1984.16
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VWINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 522 overlapping 12-month periods +$538.07 (average), +$595.04 (median)

Stock

VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor

VFINX: Vanguard 500 Index Investor
10/1976 - 12/2019; 519 months total
(limited by range of available data for VFINX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 508
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1242.92 (average), +$1387.06 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 508 12-month periods 12.43%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VFINX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 126 periods
126/508 = 24.8%
-$1464.58 (average), -$1384.27 (median)
Number of periods in which VFINX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 93 periods
93/508 = 18.3%
-$1285.91 (average), -$965.20 (median)
Number of periods in which VFINX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 121 periods
121/508 = 23.8%
-$1326.04 (average), -$1168.58 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4565.72
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4332.47
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4356.09
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VFINX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 508 overlapping 12-month periods +$746.29 (average), +$899.83 (median)

VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund

VGT: Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund
3/2004 - 12/2019; 190 months total
(limited by range of available data for VGT)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 179
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1360.69 (average), +$1341.98 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 179 12-month periods 13.61%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies.
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VGT made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 33 periods
33/179 = 18.4%
-$1478.65 (average), -$753.79 (median)
Number of periods in which VGT lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 28 periods
28/179 = 15.6%
-$1463.38 (average), -$831.76 (median)
Number of periods in which VGT failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 35 periods
35/179 = 19.6%
-$1360.78 (average), -$756.79 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$4615.09
Dollar loss, 12/2007 - 11/2008 -$4318.33
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$4488.07
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VGT vs VMMXX, 12/2007 - 11/2008
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 179 overlapping 12-month periods +$1214.45 (average), +$1228.76 (median)

VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund

VTI: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund
6/1992 - 12/2019; 331 months total
(limited by start of available data for VTI, and by end of available data for VMMXX data)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 320
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1103.92 (average), +$1385.15 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 320 12-month periods 11.04%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTI made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 72 periods
72/320 = 22.5%
-$1587.34 (average), -$1507.24 (median)
Number of periods in which VTI lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 61 periods
61/320 = 19.1%
-$1535.06 (average), -$1367.37 (median)
Number of periods in which VTI failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 71 periods
71/320 = 22.2%
-$1510.09 (average), -$1396.15 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4547.36
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4314.12
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4337.74
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTI vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 320 overlapping 12-month periods +$842.11 (average), +$1112.94 (median)

VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index

VTIAX: Vanguard Total International Stock Index
6/1996 - 12/2019; 283 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTIAX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 272
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $673.14 (average), +$881.74 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 272 12-month periods 6.73%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer). The unusually high volatility associated with these funds may stem from a number of strategies.
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTIAX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 108 periods
108/272 = 39.7%
-$1489.53 (average), -$1175.82 (median)
Number of periods in which VTIAX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 94 periods
94/272 = 34.6%
-$1453.19 (average), -$1188.21 (median)
Number of periods in which VTIAX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 103 periods
103/272 = 37.9%
-$1499.40 (average), -$1276.12 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$5383.16
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$5149.92
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 11/2007 - 10/2008 -$5222.38
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTIAX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 272 overlapping 12-month periods +$444.35 (average), +$614.94 (median)

VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index

VTSAX: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
6/1992 - 12/2019; 331 months total
(limited by range of available data for VTSAX)
Length of holding period 12 months
Total number of overlapping 12-month periods 320
Average/median number of dollars earned in 12 months on a $10,000 investment $1103.60 (average), +$1383.17 (median)
Average CAGR (annualized rate of return) of those 320 12-month periods 11.04%
Standard deviation (σ) of single-month 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 long-term investment horizon (10 years or longer).
Frequency and severity of disappointment
Number of periods in which VTSAX made less than VMMXX
Average/median shortfall versus VMMXX over those 72 periods
72/320 = 22.5%
-$1587.75 (average), -$1506.84 (median)
Number of periods in which VTSAX lost money
Average/median dollar loss over those 61 periods
61/320 = 19.1%
-$1535.53 (average), -$1368.58 (median)
Number of periods in which VTSAX failed to keep up with inflation
Average/median real loss (inflation-corrected) over those 71 periods
71/320 = 22.2%
-$1510.51 (average), -$1395.19 (median)
Worst single 12-month performance
Compared to VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4548.42
Dollar loss, 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4315.17
Real loss (inflation-corrected), 3/2008 - 2/2009 -$4338.79
Link to Morningstar chart for that worst period
Compared to VMMXX VTSAX vs VMMXX, 3/2008 - 2/2009
Reward for taking that risk
Average/median additional return above VMMXX, over 320 overlapping 12-month periods +$841.79 (average), +$1112.52 (median)

Notes

  1. John Bogle, in his 1994 classic, Bogle on Mutual Funds, suggested using a low-cost short-term 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)
  2. For funds and ETFs, calculations are based on data made publicly available free of charge from Morningstar. Data for the CPI is CPI-U, "CPI for All Urban Consumers," not seasonally adjusted, obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

See also