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Yields - VTSMX vs. VTI
Old 01-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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Yields - VTSMX vs. VTI

Any thoughts as to why the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund VTSMX yields only 2.69% while the equivalent ETF VTI yields 3.5%?
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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Are they the exact time periods? The divs will be farly constant, but the NAV could be different. I've seen some funds quoted on yahoo, with the div yield measured at the end of a quarter (maybe 6 months ago), ans ETF might be more current, and hence differenet?

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Old 01-26-2009, 12:21 PM   #3
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Are they the exact time periods? The divs will be farly constant, but the NAV could be different. I've seen some funds quoted on yahoo, with the div yield measured at the end of a quarter (maybe 6 months ago), ans ETF might be more current, and hence differenet?

-ERD50
I'll dig into the timing aspect as you suggest. Right now I'm just observing the differences by looking them up on Yahoo or Schwab.

I also notice that VTI is yielding more than SPY which doesn't pass my common sense test. Largest 500 stocks yielding less than the total stock market?
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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hmmm, yahoo shows them all as of DEC 31, 2008 now, so it should be the same basis.

yet, spy 3.02%, vti 3.5%, VTSMX 2.69%

I've seen some funny things from some of these reports before. You might need to go into the price history and look at the actual div and cap gain pay outs.

Also, I know that some of my bond funds pay the div at the EOM, but it does not show up in my account until the transaction is settled, several days later. This pushes the DEC div into January, but I think they show it as a Dec payment for tax purposes. Perhaps yahoo is affected by this, and the DEC div is not included at this time?

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Any thoughts as to why the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund VTSMX yields only 2.69% while the equivalent ETF VTI yields 3.5%?

The yield number shown on the Yahoo summary page for VTI appears to be incorrect. If you go to the historical prices and look at "dividends only", you will see that the last four dividends for VTI total 1.256, which when divided by the 12/31/2008 price of 44.74 gives a yield of 2.81%. Doing the same thing for VTSMX gives a dividend of 0.586, which when divided by the 12/31/2008 price of 21.80 gives a yield 2.69% (in agreement with the Yahoo summary page). The difference is approximately the lower ER for the ETF.

My guess is that somehow the Yahoo summary page got "confused" by the VTI split last June.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:13 PM   #7
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(ooops, slow on the trigger - see above oh well, I had lunch too!)

hmmm, check this:


19-Dec-08 0.157
23-Sep-08 $ 0.138
23-Jun-08 $ 0.146
24-Mar-08 $ 0.145

0.586 sum of divs
21.8 VTSMX NAV on dec 31, 2008
2.69%


22-Dec-08 $ 0.335
24-Sep-08 $ 0.296
24-Jun-08 $ 0.313
25-Mar-08 $ 0.3115

1.2555 sum of divs
44.74 vti
2.81% NAV on dec 31, 2008

However, yahoo notes that VTI split 2:1 June 18. It *appears* to me that yahoo adjusted the divs - I don't see any 2x type discontinuities in the div stream. Funny thing is, if you double that march div, you end up with (drum roll....) 3.5%!

I suspect that yahoo isn't tracking the split versus divs properly in one place or the other. You'd think this would eb child's play in this day/age.

So, if the delta is really 2.81 vs 2.69, most of a 0.12% delta could be explained by the slightly higher expense ratios from VTSMX. Reported at .15% vs .07%, but again, what NAV are they using - close enough as far as we can tell, I think.

All this gets to a somewhat interesting point - I assume that the diff in exp ratios is taken out of the dividends in these index ETFs and funds? The NAVs seem to track very well.

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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(ooops, slow on the trigger - see above oh well, I had lunch too!)
Plus, you did some fancy formatting. In any case, great minds think alike.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:49 PM   #9
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ERD50, FIRE'd@51.... Thanks! You guys are on your game!
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