The table is sorted by the 10-year performance in the descending order. The best performing index fund for the last 10-years is listed at the top of the table and worst performing index fund is listed at the bottom of the table. As you can see from the table that the Vanguard emerging market stock index fund had the best performance record in the last 10-years, and the Vanguard growth index fund had the worst performance record in the last 10-years.
|Vanguard index Fund Name||Symbol||10-year Average Annual|
Total Returns as of 2/29/2008
|Emerging market stock index fund||VEIEX||13.80%|
|REIT index fund||VGSIX||10.10%|
|Total international stock index fund||VGTSX||7.46%|
|European stock index fund||VEURX||7.31%|
|Long term bond index fund||VBLTX||6.97%|
|Intermediate term bond index fund||VBIIX||6.50%|
|Small cap index fund||NAESX||6.18%|
|Extended market index fund||VEXMX||6.00%|
|Total bond market index fund||VBMFX||5.78%|
|Balanced index fund||VBINX||5.37%|
|Short term bond index fund||VBISX||5.27%|
|Value index fund||VIVAX||5.06%|
|Pacific stock index fund||VPACX||4.94%|
|Total stock market index fund||VTSMX||4.46%|
|500 index fund||VFINX||3.99%|
|Growth index fund||VIGRX||3.07%|
Now, let’s think about some history. Try to put yourself in the 1998 mindset again. 1998 was right after or during the Asian stock market crisis. During that time many emerging market stocks collapsed. After 10-years of hindsight, it looks like that it was the best time to invest in a emerging market stock index fund. At the same time, in 1998 the US stock market was soaring with high growth technology stocks leading the way. The technology stocks still had couple of years of huge run ups still left in them at that time. Everyone was investing high growth technology stocks at that time. It was precisely the wrong time to invest in those technology stocks. The technology stocks accounted for something like 30%-40% of the S&P 500 index from 1998 to 2000. Because of that the S&P 500 index also lagged behind other investment options in the last 10-years.
The important question today is, where is the best place to invest for the next 10-years. Are you investing in emerging markets today? Are you tilting your portfolio towards international stocks? Are you staying away from large growth index like S&P 500 index?