Here is my monthly update of the trailing total returns for the major asset classes that I find useful. I am using passive ETFs to track asset classes, as they represent “real” investments that you can buy and sell. Return data was taken after market close at the end of October 2012.
|Broad US Stock Market
Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI)
MSCI US Broad Market Index
|Broad International Stock Market
Vanguard Total International Stock (VXUS)
MSCI All Country World ex USA Investable Market Index
Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)
MSCI Emerging Markets Index
|REIT (Real Estate)
Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ)
MSCI US REIT Index
|Broad US Bond Market
Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND)
Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adj. Bond Index
|US Treasury Bonds – Short-Term
iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY)
Barclays U.S. 1-3 Year Treasury Bond Index
|US Treasury Bonds – Long-Term
iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT)
Barclays U.S. 20+ Year Treasury Bond Index
|TIPS / Inflation-Linked Bonds
iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP)
Barclays U.S. TIPS Index
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
Price of Gold Bullion
Here is a chart of the 1-year trailing returns for the major asset classes above, which I use for rebalancing. Note that I do not necessarily invest in all the listed asset classes, see my personal portfolio for more details.
I’ve barely been investing for a decade, but this month I notice that all the 10-year returns look pretty good for all the asset classes. (The 2001 dot-com crash is now left out.) Is this why everyone seems to be pretty happy with the market right now? I wonder if the good times will last.
* Listed are total returns (includes dividends and interest) as calculated by Morningstar as of 10/31/12. All periods longer than one year are annualized. NAV returns are listed except in the case of GLD, as there is not a significant premium/discount to NAV for the other ETFs and the NAV returns match the equivalent Vanguard mutual fund returns. In certain cases, I am using the long-term returns of the equivalent Vanguard mutual funds as Vanguard ETFs are simply a different share class of the mutual funds, share the same underlying investments (VXUS/VTIAX, VWO/VEIEX, VNQ/VGLSX, BND/VBLTX).