Author Topic: VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?  (Read 2601 times)

a1pharm

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VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?
« on: August 11, 2016, 01:43:00 PM »
I just noticed that VTI is still paying out dividends, but VTSAX has not reported paying a dividend (per https://www.google.com/finance?q=vtsax&ei=69CsV9D_LtLxjAHtsrKACQ) since late 2014. 

When I compare VTI (still paying dividend) to VTSAX, they capital gain is essentially identical, but VTI still kicks out a dividend.

Given the dividend is ~2% per year, why should I invest in VTSAX if it doesn't offer a dividend?

I feel like I'm missing something...

Thanks for your help!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 02:03:09 PM by a1pharm »

seattlecyclone

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Am I missing something?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 01:47:21 PM »
VTSAX does pay dividends; not sure why they aren't showing up on Google Finance, but if you look at Yahoo Finace you can see that VTSAX has been paying out quarterly dividends, a fact that I can confirm from looking at my own Vanguard account statements.

Interest Compound

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Am I missing something?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 01:49:52 PM »
Yes, you're missing 2 huge things:

1. Google Finance is crap. Why use that when you can go directly to the source:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0585&FundIntExt=INT#tab=4

2. Who cares about dividends? If you acknowledge the capital gain is identical, you'll be much more tax-efficient without receiving the dividend, so why prefer it?

a1pharm

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Am I missing something?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 01:52:08 PM »
I would rather not have dividends and only have capital appreciation to reduce my taxable events to ~0% in my taxable account.  (That said, if I could get capital appreciation of 9% or capital appreciation of 9% + 2% dividend, I would be a fool not to take the latter.)

Good to know the unreliability of Google Finance.  What are some of the best options that don't have a potentially huge problem (like failing to list dividends)?

a1pharm

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Am I missing something?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 02:12:31 PM »
I chose VTI over VTSAX.  It is slightly more flexible since it trades like a stock vs daily pricing on mutual funds.  Not that I day-trad it, but I like to know what the exact price is when I buy.  If I buy at 10AM, who knows what will happen by 4pm closing?

I grappled with the question of VTI vs. VTSAX at length.  I did a bunch of research to find out what the main difference is.  Nebulous comments about VTI being more tax-efficient appeared unsubstantiated.  The only difference that seemed to come up over and over:

VTI: slightly more complex to buy (if you don't have a history of buying stocks), cannot directly buy fractional shares, but you know the price you're getting it for.

VTSAX: slightly easier to buy (Vanguard allows automatic investing with their mutual funds, not so with ETFs), you can buy fractional shares, but you don't know the exact price you are getting it for.

The advantage of the ETF is eroded in non-day traders (these are a buy-and-hold for most of us, so trying to time the trade to get a low intra-day price doesn't make sense for most long term investors).

In summary, the only differences: VTSAX is more convenient AND it allows you to buy fractional shares (this lets you put ALL of your employees to work).

BigHaus89

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Am I missing something?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 11:56:52 AM »
I chose VTI over VTSAX.  It is slightly more flexible since it trades like a stock vs daily pricing on mutual funds.  Not that I day-trad it, but I like to know what the exact price is when I buy.  If I buy at 10AM, who knows what will happen by 4pm closing?

I grappled with the question of VTI vs. VTSAX at length.  I did a bunch of research to find out what the main difference is.  Nebulous comments about VTI being more tax-efficient appeared unsubstantiated.  The only difference that seemed to come up over and over:

VTI: slightly more complex to buy (if you don't have a history of buying stocks), cannot directly buy fractional shares, but you know the price you're getting it for.

VTSAX: slightly easier to buy (Vanguard allows automatic investing with their mutual funds, not so with ETFs), you can buy fractional shares, but you don't know the exact price you are getting it for.

The advantage of the ETF is eroded in non-day traders (these are a buy-and-hold for most of us, so trying to time the trade to get a low intra-day price doesn't make sense for most long term investors).

In summary, the only differences: VTSAX is more convenient AND it allows you to buy fractional shares (this lets you put ALL of your employees to work).

Pretty much this. One thing I will add is that if you are with TD Ameritrade, VTI is one of their commission free ETF's vs. VTSAX has $25 commission.

forummm

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 05:34:59 PM »
If you buy VTSAX, just open an account directly with Vanguard and all transactions are free (for all Vanguard funds). You can also get free transactions for all Vanguard ETFs (like VTI). For someone in the US, there's almost no reason not to just invest directly through a Vanguard account.

a1pharm

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 01:38:15 PM »
If you buy VTSAX, just open an account directly with Vanguard and all transactions are free (for all Vanguard funds). You can also get free transactions for all Vanguard ETFs (like VTI). For someone in the US, there's almost no reason not to just invest directly through a Vanguard account.

Agreed: Only use Vanguard brokerage account when buying/managing your Vanguard investments.

The final advantage to VTSAX over VTI: you can convert VTSAX to VTI without creating a taxable event.  These shares of VTI are now portable.  This can be advantageous in a few uncommon instances.  The opposite direction (converting VTI to VTSAX) creates a taxable event.  So if you think you might ever want to convert some VTSAX to a portable vehicle (VTI) just go with VTSAX.

gggggg

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2016, 07:09:25 PM »
Google finance almost seems like a beta project that's been neglected. It feels unfinished. I used it initially, but have since move on to morningstar and yahoo finance. It seems weird to recommend a yahoo product over a google one, but yahoo finance is pretty nice imo; I read somewhere that quite a few daytraders use yahoo finance, over google, for what it's worth.

mizzourah2006

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Re: VTI better that VTSAX? Problem with Google Finance?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 07:53:49 AM »
Google finance almost seems like a beta project that's been neglected. It feels unfinished. I used it initially, but have since move on to morningstar and yahoo finance. It seems weird to recommend a yahoo product over a google one, but yahoo finance is pretty nice imo; I read somewhere that quite a few daytraders use yahoo finance, over google, for what it's worth.

Agreed. Yahoo is much better for looking at total returns. They have the adjusted close, which accounts for dividends.