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Old 05-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #21
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Exactly. You need to be very careful when making comments about Vanguard. I flinch every time I do since I expect some knock at my door from a mob
knock knock... Open up! It's the Vanguard Police!!!! I am a big fan of Vanguard because their investment philosophy matches mine perfectly (good products at rock bottom prices). But I wouldn't mind if they started selling expensive investment products to suckers as long as they use the profits to lower their already low fund expenses for the rest of us diehards...
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:22 AM   #22
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Well, I have a money market account at Vanguard where I draw my quarterlies out of, does that count as a Vanguard investor??

I do have the advantage where I can buy pretty much any load fund I want at NAV, which is something most cannot........
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:25 PM   #23
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I think many of the expense issues have been covered, but I'll add one more kudo for Fidelity customer service. If you're just dealing with simple things, I imagine they are about the same, but if a curve comes along Fidelity customer service will have better odds of getting the job done. I had some problems transfering a DBA IRA and cannot say enough good things about the service I got from Fidelity in helping with this process.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:34 PM   #24
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I thought this was an interesting chart...

Vanguard s&p 500 index investor vs fidelity spartan investor
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File Type: jpg vfinx vs fsmkx.JPG (117.8 KB, 47 views)
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #25
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About two years ago I tried to get Fidelity to do a rollover from MSF to Fidelity. After Fidelity had the paperwork, they did not get it done no matter how many times we contacted them about it. I asked Vanguard to do the rollover and like magic it got done with no hassel and total success.

I guess different people have different experiences. We never were able to find out what the problem at Fidelity was.

Even so, I am torn between the two if we decide to consolidate our many accounts.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:15 PM   #26
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knock knock... Open up! It's the Vanguard Police!!!! I am a big fan of Vanguard because their investment philosophy matches mine perfectly (good products at rock bottom prices). But I wouldn't mind if they started selling expensive investment products to suckers as long as they use the profits to lower their already low fund expenses for the rest of us diehards...
Fine with me. My taxable stuff is invested with them
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:22 PM   #27
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I thought this was an interesting chart...
Vanguard s&p 500 index investor vs fidelity spartan investor
Now we just need to overlay 15 years of expense ratios.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:27 PM   #28
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Doh. I'm not sure if the MSN money charting tool incorporates ER's into the "value of $10,000 invested" chart.

Seems sort of dumb if they dont.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:37 PM   #29
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Doh. I'm not sure if the MSN money charting tool incorporates ER's into the "value of $10,000 invested" chart.
Seems sort of dumb if they dont.
I bet the difference between the two graphs is Fidelity's steadily-shrinking expense ratio. When I compare those two tickers for a decade on Fidelity's website-- here's the big surprise-- they overlap so closely that it's hard to tell them apart.

But yeah, it's hard to imagine any financial journalist, let alone one from MSN, doing something dumb.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:55 PM   #30
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Aint it?

I figured without factoring in expense ratios, a 1.5% fund might look good compared to a .25% fund.

But then again...that'd be a hell of a database to keep track of all the annual expense ratios over the years...

BTW I did a quick check of the admiral/high volume type shares (which fidelity has only had for around 7 years or so) and they were in lockstep.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:35 AM   #31
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I thought this was an interesting chart...

Vanguard s&p 500 index investor vs fidelity spartan investor
Is your point that VG is consistently (more or less) a better performer than Fido? Just asking.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:36 AM   #32
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Thats a lot of presumptive point to draw from someone who posted a chart and says "this is interesting"...

I just made a chart and posted it. No analysis or point.

I guess all I noticed was that there was a difference between two el cheapo index funds over time.

Maybe that not all indexes end up with exactly the same returns due to the different ways of managing an index?

Maybe to note that the difference over a very long time wasnt that much, so it might not matter which ultracheap index fund you buy?

But we already knew those things, right?
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:41 AM   #33
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Now we just need to overlay 15 years of expense ratios.
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Doh. I'm not sure if the MSN money charting tool incorporates ER's into the "value of $10,000 invested" chart.

Seems sort of dumb if they dont.
The expense ratios must be in the chart, right? The ERs are just part of their NAV? I mean, I've held several Fidelity and Vanguard funds, and I've never been billed separately for any expenses*, so it must just be in the NAV. If they were to chart it w/o ERs, seems like that would be a lot of backwards work.

Those charts did specifically say they include dividends, which many don't. W/O divies, it's tough to compare.

* exceptions would be the rare cases where there is an annual account fee (some low $ IRA?), or an early redemption fee. IIRC, with Vanguard, early redemption fees are actually kicked back into the fund, propping up it's NAV (assuming the fee is actually greater than any trading costs they incur).

I've had some other people (well, people selling load funds) talk about all the 'hidden fees' in no-load funds. Well, maybe you can say they are 'hidden' (in the prospectus?), but they are accounted for in the performance of the fund, no?

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:52 PM   #34
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I've had some other people (well, people selling load funds) talk about all the 'hidden fees' in no-load funds. Well, maybe you can say they are 'hidden' (in the prospectus?), but they are accounted for in the performance of the fund, no?
There are "hidden fees" in ALL mutual funds, stuff like trading costs, bid/ask spread costs, etc..............
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:56 PM   #35
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Maybe that not all indexes end up with exactly the same returns due to the different ways of managing an index?
Maybe to note that the difference over a very long time wasnt that much, so it might not matter which ultracheap index fund you buy?
I wonder if it's possible to tease out the "Sauter effect" from the changing expense ratios, investor-fee tiers, and other distractions...
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:09 PM   #36
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I wouldnt count on it.

I'd much rather sit on a beach and eat chicken.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:54 PM   #37
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There are "hidden fees" in ALL mutual funds, stuff like trading costs, bid/ask spread costs, etc..............
yes, those are costs that a purely theoretical index does not have. But they are not 'hidden' in a mutual fund, they show up in the published performance numbers.

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Old 05-17-2008, 10:30 PM   #38
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But I wouldn't mind if they started selling expensive investment products to suckers as long as they use the profits to lower their already low fund expenses for the rest of us diehards...
I'd be disappointed. I guess I've drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact that they are customer-owned, that Bogle felt so strongly about low fees and indexing and about helping small investors get a better shake. I'd feel let down if the company started ripping people off, even if I benefited from it.

There are very few for-profit companies that I feel this way about. USAA is another one--I'd be surprised and disappointed if they became "like the rest" of the companies in their business.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:14 AM   #39
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I'd be disappointed. I guess I've drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact that they are customer-owned, that Bogle felt so strongly about low fees and indexing and about helping small investors get a better shake. I'd feel let down if the company started ripping people off, even if I benefited from it.

There are very few for-profit companies that I feel this way about. USAA is another one--I'd be surprised and disappointed if they became "like the rest" of the companies in their business.
Some of it is the companies culture. I would not worry too much as long as the people that run the place have been with the company for 20 - 30 years. They have been indoctrinated about the overall goal. If a newbie took the helm, it is time to worry. That person may see things wuite differently.

VG has positioned itself as low cost, good service, with a decent spread of investments. Fidelity has positioned themselves to differentiate by more products, and slightly better service... (perception mainly).
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:49 AM   #40
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About the only differences I've seen in vanguard over the last ten years is being more market driven and reducing the amount of paperwork and time to do a simple transaction.

When people got excited about equities during the recent bull market, vanguard tweaked up the equities content and slowed the rate of conversion from equities to fixed income to suit the bug eyed demand for more risk/return. That really pissed me off and I had to convert some funds and take a capital gain I didnt want to take, because the product I bought no longer worked as it was supposed to work and that didnt suit my plans. The new managed payout stuff is also somewhat un-bogle-like. Not that theres anything wrong with that.

Vanguard also used to be known for having to mail/fax a lot of stuff, jump through two flaming hoops while patting your head and rubbing your belly to get a transaction done. They liked things to move slowly, in line with their "we want you to buy and hold and make very few sudden moves and loud noises, and go away if you're a market timer" approach. Not so anymore.

Customer service wise? Cant say. Had one or two annoying glitchy problems over the last ten years, nothing major, and everything else seems to have been well handled.
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