Author Topic: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations  (Read 635 times)

Samwise

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Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« on: December 04, 2018, 05:03:46 PM »
Hi all,

I'm wondering if someone who has a bit of experience with VTSAX or similar index funds can help me to understand something.  I'm quite new and just getting started with some investing and I'm probably going to invest in some broad index funds soon, so I've been watching stock prices.  Today, for example, I noticed articles about a big plunge, with S&P 500 and Dow Jones dropping around 3%.  However, VTSAX went up about 1%.  I'm kind of confused, because I would think that if the stock market is going down, VTSAX would go down, too.  Can someone explain?

Thanks in advance,
Sam
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 05:07:23 PM by Samwise »

dandarc

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Re: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 05:17:01 PM »
Note the date on the price - 12/3.

Mutual funds update their prices once per day - after the market closes. VTSAX is something like 80% the S&P 500, so it for sure will be showing down once they tally everything up and report the new price.

dandarc

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Re: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 05:18:55 PM »
FYI - just logged in to my Vanguard account - VTSAX went down 3.32% today (12/4).

Radagast

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Re: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 08:11:19 PM »
VTI is an ETF and its price is updated continually throughout the day. So are the S&P500 and DJI indices. VTSAX is a mutual fund and its price gets updated after market close, Vanguard is pretty good at getting it out at about 6pm EST, two hours after close. However, Google waits until trading has nearly started the next day to update their prices about 12 hours later...

terran

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Re: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 09:51:22 PM »
VTI is an ETF and its price is updated continually throughout the day. So are the S&P500 and DJI indices. VTSAX is a mutual fund and its price gets updated after market close, Vanguard is pretty good at getting it out at about 6pm EST, two hours after close. However, Google waits until trading has nearly started the next day to update their prices about 12 hours later...

To build on this... VTI and VTSAX follow the same index, so if you want to know what all the stocks that make up VTSAX are doing in real time just look at VTI.

Be careful about watching the markets too closely though. It's good to develop the sense that swings like today are a normal thing (while volatility has been low the last few years, that was abnormal, the higher volatility we're seeing now is normal), but the people who do best with investing are the ones who just don't look (or at least don't make changes, which is a lot easier for most people when they don't look).

Samwise

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Re: Question about VTSAX and stock market fluctuations
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 10:24:23 PM »
You all have cleared things up for this newb investor!  Thank you!

- OP