Author Topic: Vanguard Target Retirement funds - what's the difference?  (Read 2512 times)

FIence!

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Vanguard Target Retirement funds - what's the difference?
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:16:39 AM »
Well, what's the difference besides the obvious... I know about glide path, etc., and that each is loaded differently for risk.
Specifically, I was looking at "VFORX," which is what correlated to my age bracket. My shares today are at about $28 and change. My husband is a few years younger than me, so he has some "VTIVX" - which is at about $17. I wondered why the difference in share prices, and started looking at the other target date funds. They all seem to come in around the $16-18 range or the $27-29 range, but I don't see any correlation between target date or fund mix (i.e. it's not like the older funds are worth more).

Sooo... since the age 59.5 is a little arbitrary for most of us anyway, I thought I might take a closer look at all of the funds for my end of year deposit and maybe pick another account? I'm new to actually looking at these things, so I am wondering if there is some inherent benefit to picking one where the shares are a little lower. Does this make them more stable in any way since you'd have more shares? Or vice versa? Or does it all even out since they are all diversified funds? What I need explained is why, while growing/dropping at a similar rate, the fund prices are so different and if that should affect my choice.

Thanks!

matchewed

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Re: Vanguard Target Retirement funds - what's the difference?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 10:22:04 AM »
Well, what's the difference besides the obvious... I know about glide path, etc., and that each is loaded differently for risk.
Specifically, I was looking at "VFORX," which is what correlated to my age bracket. My shares today are at about $28 and change. My husband is a few years younger than me, so he has some "VTIVX" - which is at about $17. I wondered why the difference in share prices, and started looking at the other target date funds. They all seem to come in around the $16-18 range or the $27-29 range, but I don't see any correlation between target date or fund mix (i.e. it's not like the older funds are worth more).

Sooo... since the age 59.5 is a little arbitrary for most of us anyway, I thought I might take a closer look at all of the funds for my end of year deposit and maybe pick another account? I'm new to actually looking at these things, so I am wondering if there is some inherent benefit to picking one where the shares are a little lower. Does this make them more stable in any way since you'd have more shares? Or vice versa? Or does it all even out since they are all diversified funds? What I need explained is why, while growing/dropping at a similar rate, the fund prices are so different and if that should affect my choice.

Thanks!

The actual price is fairly irrelevant for what is the difference. It is the returns as percentage that matter. If something costs $100 a share and if something costs $1 a share if they both return 7% you'll get the same return for the same invested principle.

FIence!

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Re: Vanguard Target Retirement funds - what's the difference?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 10:47:20 AM »
The actual price is fairly irrelevant for what is the difference. It is the returns as percentage that matter. If something costs $100 a share and if something costs $1 a share if they both return 7% you'll get the same return for the same invested principle.

Ahhh, ok. So in the case of the funds I mentioned, even though the share price is $12 different, then both had returns this year within a half percent of each other and are therefor pretty much "equal" as far as return. Thanks!

kyleaaa

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Re: Vanguard Target Retirement funds - what's the difference?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 09:20:02 AM »
Yep, share prices are completely arbitrary. Vanguard usually sets the price of new funds at $10.00 per share (for absolutely no reason other than that $10 is a nice, round number). Since the funds didn't all open on the same date, you wouldn't expect them to have the same share price.