Monday, February 10, 2014

Should you buy Vanguard Dividend Appreciation VIG or Dividend Machines

All stock investors wonder if picking your own portfolio of income stocks provides any better results than just buying an inexpensive ETF.

This post compares my 2011 Dividend Machine model portfolio with a very popular, well respected and inexpensive dividend appreciation fund.

I am not a fan of pooled investments, yet I can understand the dilemma.   It certainly is easier to buy shares of an ETF on a regular basis than it is to find stocks on your own.    

After all, mutual funds have experts they pay a lot of money to pick stocks.  Surely their results must be better than what you can do?

ETF’s are even easier because they simply own a basket of stocks that are designed to replicate the holdings in indexes like the S&P 500 (SPY).

2011 Dividend Machines versus Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Fund.

Vanguard is the best of breed for low cost mutual funds and ETF’s.   So I decided to measure my 2011 Dividend Machine Portfolio against the Vanguard ETF that has the most similar goal.

Vanguard’s dividend appreciation fund, symbol VIG,  is geared to mimic the dividend aristocrats for income and growth.  This fund is very low cost and seemed to be the one to use to measure my work.

On a theoretical basis, each time I added a stock to the 2011 Dividend Machine Portfolio, I simultaneously bought VIG shares.   Therefore, the cost basis is exactly the same.  If I bought $1,000 worth of a stock for the Dividend Machine Portfolio, I also bought $1,000 worth of shares in the VIG ETF.

At the end of the 2011 Dividend Year, I bought 52 stocks for about $207,000 and 3836.361829 shares of VIG.

As of the close on Friday February 7, 2014, the 2011 Dividend Machine Portfolio value was $292,400 and the VIG value was $275,758.  The cost of each portfolio was negligible.  

The table below shows how well these two investments have fared in terms of portfolio value.

Mutual Funds and ETF’s may be easier but over the last 3 years, Dividend Machines were better.

The Money Madam

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