28 important things you should know about VGTSX mutual fund before you buy it

Proj Omni: May 23, '19

Are you evaluating VGTSX mutual fund as a potential investment? Are you looking to get the full scoop on this fund, as well as learn about alternatives to investing in it? If so, you came to the right place.

In this VGTSX mutual fund review, we’ll address key questions our readers have been asking us about this fund, above and beyond what you can find in its prospectus, and on Morningstar or Yahoo Finance.

Here is what you’ll be able to find in this review:

  • The Basics: VGTSX performance, returns, expense ratio, holdings and dividend yield;
  • The Analysis: the pros and cons of investing in VGTSX mutual fund;
  • The Alternatives: other ETFs and mutual funds you should consider as alternatives to VGTSX.

And here is the list of questions we’ll answer:

  1. Describe Vanguard STAR Funds: Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund; Investor Shares (VGTSX).
  2. What are VGTSX holdings?
  3. How did VGTSX perform historically? What were the historical returns?
  4. How many up and down years did VGTSX have historically?
  5. What is VGTSX dividend yield?
  6. What is VGTSX minimum initial investment amount?
  7. What is VGTSX expense ratio?
  8. Does VGTSX have any sales loads or 12b-1 distribution expenses?
  9. What is VGTSX tax efficiency (tax-cost ratio)?
  10. What is VGTSX beta? How would you assess VGTSX risk?
  11. What is VGTSX Sharpe ratio?
  12. What are the pros of investing in VGTSX? What are VGTSX positives?
  13. What are the cons of investing in VGTSX? What are VGTSX negatives?
  14. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VFINX.
  15. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTI.
  16. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VOO.
  17. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTIAX.
  18. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VXUS.
  19. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTSAX.
  20. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTMGX.
  21. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTSMX.
  22. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs SWISX.
  23. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VWIGX.
  24. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTWSX.
  25. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VFWIX.
  26. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VEU.
  27. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VDVIX.
  28. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VWO.

So let’s start. Scroll down to the question that interests you the most.

The Basics

1. Describe Vanguard STAR Funds: Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund; Investor Shares (VGTSX).

The Fund seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index, a free-float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure equity market performance of companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States.

2. What are VGTSX top holdings?

VGTSX has 5,922 stock holdings and N/A bond holdings.

The top 10 holdings represent 8.30% of total assets. Here are the top holdings:

NameSymbol% Assets
Nestle SANESN1.19%
Tencent Holdings Ltd007001.09%
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ADRBABA0.91%
Novartis AGNOVN0.87%
Roche Holding AG Dividend Right Cert.ROG0.80%
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd23300.79%
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd0059300.76%
HSBC Holdings PLCHSBA0.68%
Toyota Motor Corp72030.61%
BP PLCBP.0.60%

3. How did VGTSX perform historically? What were the historical returns?

VGTSX has generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 3.73%;
  • 3-month return is 3.12%;
  • 1-year return is -9.10%;
  • 3-year return is 11.41%;
  • 5-year return is 2.70%;
  • 10-year return is 8.44%;
  • 15-year return is 5.29%.

4. How many up and down years did VGTSX have historically?

In the last 10 years, VGTSX had 6 up years and 4 down years.

5. What is VGTSX dividend yield?

VGTSX yield is 2.68%.

6. What is VGTSX minimum initial investment amount?

VGTSX minimum initial investment amount is $3000.

7. What is VGTSX expense ratio?

VGTSX expense ratio is 0.17%. The expense ratio of a fund is the total percentage of fund assets used for administrative, management, and all other expenses.

8. Does VGTSX have any sales loads or 12b-1 distribution expenses?

VGTSX 12b-1 distribution fee is N/A. VGTSX front-end sales load is N/A. VGTSX back-end sales load is N/A

9. What is VGTSX tax efficiency (tax-cost ratio)?

  • 1-year ax cost ratio is 0.79%;
  • 3-year ax cost ratio is 0.81%.

10. What is VGTSX beta? How would you assess VGTSX risk?

  • 3-year beta is 0.98;
  • 5-year beta is 0.96;
  • 10-year beta is 1.00;
  • 15-year beta is 1.00.

11. What is VGTSX Sharpe ratio?

  • 3-year Sharpe ratio is 0.66;
  • 5-year Sharpe ratio is 0.22;
  • 10-year Sharpe ratio is 0.58;
  • 15-year Sharpe ratio is 0.32.

The Analysis

12. What are the pros of investing in VGTSX? What are VGTSX positives?

The following are VGTSX strengths from our perspective:

  • VGTSX net assets are $128.00 billion. This fund is a popular choice with retail and institutional investors.
  • VGTSX 3-year return is 11.41%, which is higher than the 3-year return of the benchmark index (MSCI ACWI Ex USA NR USD), 10.67%.
  • VGTSX 5-year return is 2.7%, which is higher than the 5-year return of the benchmark index (MSCI ACWI Ex USA NR USD), 2.47%.
  • VGTSX 10-year return is 8.44%, which is higher than the 10-year return of the benchmark index (MSCI ACWI Ex USA NR USD), 8.31%.
  • VGTSX 15-year return is 5.29%, which is in line with the 15-year return of the benchmark index (MSCI ACWI Ex USA NR USD), 5.38%.
  • Good news: this fund does not have 12b1, front-end or back-end sales fees.
  • VGTSX expense ratio is 0.17%, which is considered low. Nice job picking a low-cost fund.

13. What are the cons of investing in VGTSX? What are VGTSX negatives?

There are no visible red flags.

The Alternatives

14. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VFINX.

Both VGTSX and VFINX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VFINX (2.7% vs 10.69%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VFINX (0.17% vs 0.14%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VFINX.


VGTSXVFINX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendU.S. Equity: Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$24.75B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.14%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%11%
1-Year Return-9.1%3.5%
3-Year Return11.41%16.38%
5-Year Return2.7%10.69%
10-Year Return8.44%15.13%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.8%

VFINX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

15. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTI.

VGTSX is a mutual fund, whereas VTI is an ETF. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VTI (2.7% vs 10.64%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VTI (0.17% vs 0.03%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTI.


VGTSXVTI
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendEquity: U.S. - Total Market
Net Assets$128.00B$112.34B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.03%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/ACRSP US Total Market Index
YTD Return8.11%15.2%
1-Year Return-9.1%6.22%
3-Year Return11.41%14.05%
5-Year Return2.7%10.64%
10-Year Return8.44%14.92%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.94%

VTI profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index. The Fund invests by holding a collection of securities that approximates the Index.

16. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VOO.

VGTSX is a mutual fund, whereas VOO is an ETF. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VOO (2.7% vs 11%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VOO (0.17% vs 0.03%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VOO.


VGTSXVOO
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendEquity: U.S. - Large Cap
Net Assets$128.00B$110.69B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.03%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AS&P 500
YTD Return8.11%14.91%
1-Year Return-9.1%7.24%
3-Year Return11.41%14.03%
5-Year Return2.7%11%
10-Year Return8.44%14.8%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.97%

VOO profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

17. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTIAX.

Both VGTSX and VTIAX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VTIAX (2.7% vs 2.76%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VTIAX (0.17% vs 0.11%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTIAX.


VGTSXVTIAX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$73.78B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.11%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%8.12%
1-Year Return-9.1%-9.06%
3-Year Return11.41%11.47%
5-Year Return2.7%2.76%
10-Year Return8.44%8.49%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.84%

VTIAX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index.

18. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VXUS.

VGTSX is a mutual fund, whereas VXUS is an ETF. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VXUS (2.7% vs 2.03%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VXUS (0.17% vs 0.09%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VXUS.


VGTSXVXUS
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendEquity: Global Ex-U.S. - Total Market
Net Assets$128.00B$12.19B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.09%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AFTSE Global All Cap ex US Net US RIC
YTD Return8.11%8.69%
1-Year Return-9.1%-7.98%
3-Year Return11.41%7.72%
5-Year Return2.7%2.03%
10-Year Return8.44%6.89%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.94%

VXUS profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index.

19. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTSAX.

Both VGTSX and VTSAX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VTSAX (2.7% vs 10.37%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VTSAX (0.17% vs 0.04%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTSAX.


VGTSXVTSAX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendU.S. Equity: Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$202.15B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.04%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%11.92%
1-Year Return-9.1%3.89%
3-Year Return11.41%17%
5-Year Return2.7%10.37%
10-Year Return8.44%15.46%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.87%

VTSAX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index. The Fund invests by holding a collection of securities that approximates the Index.

20. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTMGX.

Both VGTSX and VTMGX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VTMGX (2.7% vs 2.68%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VTMGX (0.17% vs 0.07%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTMGX.


VGTSXVTMGX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$16.59B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.07%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%8.44%
1-Year Return-9.1%-8%
3-Year Return11.41%10.66%
5-Year Return2.7%2.68%
10-Year Return8.44%8.66%
Dividend Yield2.68%3.1%

VTMGX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in the major markets of Europe and the Pacific Region. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index.

21. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTSMX.

Both VGTSX and VTSMX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VTSMX (2.7% vs 10.02%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VTSMX (0.17% vs 0.14%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTSMX.


VGTSXVTSMX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendU.S. Equity: Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$129.42B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.14%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%12.39%
1-Year Return-9.1%5.02%
3-Year Return11.41%15.44%
5-Year Return2.7%10.02%
10-Year Return8.44%16.73%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.77%

VTSMX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index. The Fund invests by holding a collection of securities that approximates the Index.

22. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs SWISX.

Both VGTSX and SWISX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than SWISX (2.7% vs 2.17%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than SWISX (0.17% vs 0.06%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and SWISX.


VGTSXSWISX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$4.65B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.06%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%7.87%
1-Year Return-9.1%-7.84%
3-Year Return11.41%10.21%
5-Year Return2.7%2.17%
10-Year Return8.44%8.33%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.96%

SWISX profile: The Fund seeks to track the total return of the Schwab International Index. The Schwab International Index includes common stocks of the 350 largest publicly traded companies from selected countries outside the United States.

23. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VWIGX.

Both VGTSX and VWIGX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VWIGX (2.7% vs 6%). VGTSX has a lower expense ratio than VWIGX (0.17% vs 0.45%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VWIGX.


VGTSXVWIGX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Growth
Net Assets$128.00B$6.95B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.45%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)active
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%10.08%
1-Year Return-9.1%-9.24%
3-Year Return11.41%17.41%
5-Year Return2.7%6%
10-Year Return8.44%11.66%
Dividend Yield2.68%1.49%

VWIGX profile: The Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity securities of companies based outside the United States. In selecting stocks, the Fund's advisor evaluates foreign markets around the world and chooses companies with above-average growth potential.

24. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VTWSX.

Both VGTSX and VTWSX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a lower 5-year return than VTWSX (2.7% vs 7.11%). VGTSX and VTWSX have the same expense ratio (0.17%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VTWSX.


VGTSXVTWSX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: World Large Stock
Net Assets$128.00B$1.85B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.17%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%16.21%
1-Year Return-9.1%4.91%
3-Year Return11.41%11.58%
5-Year Return2.7%7.11%
10-Year Return8.44%11.27%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.25%

VTWSX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks of companies located in developed and emerging markets around the world. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE Global All Cap Index.

25. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VFWIX.

Both VGTSX and VFWIX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VFWIX (2.7% vs 1.96%). VGTSX has a lower expense ratio than VFWIX (0.17% vs 0.2%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VFWIX.


VGTSXVFWIX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$415.80M
Expense Ratio0.17%0.2%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%8.57%
1-Year Return-9.1%-7.55%
3-Year Return11.41%7.78%
5-Year Return2.7%1.96%
10-Year Return8.44%6.87%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.92%

VFWIX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks of companies located in developed and emerging markets outside of the United States. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE All-World ex US Index.

26. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VEU.

VGTSX is a mutual fund, whereas VEU is an ETF. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VEU (2.7% vs 2.05%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VEU (0.17% vs 0.09%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VEU.


VGTSXVEU
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendEquity: Global Ex-U.S. - Total Market
Net Assets$128.00B$23.32B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.09%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AFTSE All World ex US Net TR US RIC
YTD Return8.11%8.77%
1-Year Return-9.1%-7.54%
3-Year Return11.41%7.94%
5-Year Return2.7%2.05%
10-Year Return8.44%7.02%
Dividend Yield2.68%3.02%

VEU profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks of companies located in developed and emerging markets outside of the United States. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the FTSE All-World ex US Index.

27. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VDVIX.

Both VGTSX and VDVIX are mutual funds. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VDVIX (2.7% vs 2.58%). VGTSX and VDVIX have the same expense ratio (0.17%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VDVIX.


VGTSXVDVIX
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendInternational Equity: Foreign Large Blend
Net Assets$128.00B$766.10M
Expense Ratio0.17%0.17%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AN/A
YTD Return8.11%8.42%
1-Year Return-9.1%-8.11%
3-Year Return11.41%10.55%
5-Year Return2.7%2.58%
10-Year Return8.44%8.56%
Dividend Yield2.68%3%

VDVIX profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in the major markets of Europe and the Pacific Region. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index.

28. Compare and contrast: VGTSX vs VWO.

VGTSX is a mutual fund, whereas VWO is an ETF. VGTSX has a higher 5-year return than VWO (2.7% vs 1.43%). VGTSX has a higher expense ratio than VWO (0.17% vs 0.12%). Below is the comparison between VGTSX and VWO.


VGTSXVWO
SegmentInternational Equity: Foreign Large BlendEquity: Emerging Markets - Total Market
Net Assets$128.00B$65.55B
Expense Ratio0.17%0.12%
Management Stylepassive (index-based)passive (index-based)
Underlying IndexN/AFTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index Net TR US RIC
YTD Return8.11%5.38%
1-Year Return-9.1%-9.29%
3-Year Return11.41%9.34%
5-Year Return2.7%1.43%
10-Year Return8.44%5.73%
Dividend Yield2.68%2.57%

VWO profile: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in emerging market countries. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index by sampling the Index.

We hope this review was helpful to you and taught you the basics of investing in VGTSX (return, performance, yield, expense ratio, and holdings), the pros and cons of, and the alternatives to investing in VGTSX.

If you’d like to leave any comments, feel free to do so below.

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Comments (1)expand_more
Liz Piazza | Feb 21, '18

Thanks so much

reply0