I was looking at Vanguard funds and ETF's and I can't figure out why performance(compound average return 2012-2019) of U.S. Equity Index Fund - Accumulation is better than S&P 500 UCITS ETF (VUSA). First I though that this may be due to the the stock being in USD but both prices are recorded in GBP, therefore I would expect the results to be calculated using the same currency conversion.

When I started looking for some data about historical annual returns I was not able to find the benchmark index for the U.S. Equity Index Fund. However I found Wilshire 5000 which I though maybe a close match(looking at tracked stock). But that has just added to confusion when compering results for Wilshire5000 and SP500 they appear very similar.

So I went on to find equivalent UK Vanguard Funds/ETF in USA and I come across:

And again they prove to have the compound average return very close between them.

Is the difference somehow down to the fact that the "U.S. Equity Index Fund - Accumulation" increases in value through the accumulation but then again the Income version performs equally good? Or perhaps it's purely down to the fact that it tracks just 3402 stocks rather then 3,486(or 3579 for VTI)?

1 Answer 1


The "accumulation" fund reinvests its dividends, while the "income" fund distributes them, reducing price return. If you reinvested dividends in the income version I'd expect you'd see much closer results.

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