Vanguard Statement vs Newsletter Numbers

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    • #1095
      Scott Kramer

      I'm trying to understand why, after following your model for years, the rates of return/growth that I see on my Vanguard statements don't match the numbers reported by the newsletter for the same time period.

    • #1097
      USPFA Team

      Good morning Scott,

      Dave address this question back in May of 2013:


      I’ll start by answering one of the most common questions we receive…

      Many pilots write to us and ask why their own performance doesn’t match the models in the newsletter. So some background may help.

      The models were designed to comply with the rules of your 401k plan – holding periods after purchase, restrictions of all kinds and to give good results while balancing growth and safety.

      They are NOT designed to “beat the market” in every time period. You will notice though, that over the long term, they have handily beaten the S&P 500 Index.

      That said, you will get the best performance if you make the changes on the first available day. Each day after day 1, the performance will degrade. After day 8, you would still have positive returns, but obviously not as good as trading sooner. After Day 8, wait until the next beginning of the month ranking period.

      How accurately you follow a model, and which day you
      consistently trade your account will determine how closely your account performance matches the model.

      In the early years, we spent time tracking these issues for individual pilots. It was time consuming and always came back to whether the trades were accurately made (percentages) and when the trades were made. After tracking this down numerous times, we no longer devote manpower to analyzing individual accounts.

      Neither of those two items can be controlled by us, but can be controlled by you.


      Additionally, there are many other variables that factor into your personal performance, such as: loans against your 401k and administrative charges assessed by Vanguard to name a few.

      The Autopilot Team

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