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I've had several employer-provided plans through Fidelity over the years.

Fortunately, they offered extremely low-cost passive investment options, like Vanguard Institutional Index Trust, which tracks the S&P 500 with a cost of only 0.01%-0.02% depending on share cost.

One strange thing about these funds is that they don't have public ticker symbols. Here's an example:

enter image description here

If I Google 02315M107, Google (somehow) knows that I am looking for the Vanguard Institutional 500 Index Trust fund, and if I google 02315M305 it knows I'm looking for Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Institutional Shares… even though I can't actually find those symbol anywhere on the public web.

Annoyingly, even though these funds appear to be just "share classes" of publicly-known Vanguard mutual funds, their prices don't match. The only way that I know of to find their current prices is to login to my Fidelity account, so I can't use any kind of automated quote-lookup software to track them.

Is there any public service for looking up the prices/NAVs of these funds that only exist inside specific companies’ retirement plans?

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    These are CUSIP numbers. There are services to look them up, but they're paid services.
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2023 at 5:45
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    The problem is that those are Trusts, not the actual funds.
    – RonJohn
    Mar 28, 2023 at 14:09
  • @RonJohn, what does that mean in terms of how their NAV is calculated, or how it relates to the "actual fund"?
    – Dan Lenski
    Mar 28, 2023 at 15:40
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    @DanLenski the trusts aren't the actual funds. Thus, the NAV of the trust is based on how many shares are in the trust, not how many shares are in the fund.
    – RonJohn
    Mar 28, 2023 at 17:04
  • So does this mean that only Fidelity itself has the ability to generate the prices of these 401(k) holdings, and there's no way to look them up without logging into my Fidelity account and screen-scraping?
    – Dan Lenski
    Mar 28, 2023 at 18:30

1 Answer 1

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Depending on how you define public...

Quicken can download 401(k) account data from Fidelity, including current share counts and values. Other financial apps may or may not be able to do this; haven't tried enough to know.

You can also, of course, try to scrape that data off Fidelity's website yourself.

Unfortunately I can't explain why (what appear to be) the same funds are being reported to you differently inside the Fidelity system than outside. One possibility is that they're a different class of shares in that fund, which would have the same name but slightly different returns and a different ticker symbol, but that's an unsupported guess; I'd feed to look more closely at Fidelity to check that one.

(I presume share classes are discussed in another Question; if not we can open one.)

May I point out that a 401(k) does not need frequent value updates, especially if you use the 401(k)'s automatic rebalancing feature or a target date funds which has that built in. This is not an account where you should be actively trading. In fact, Fidelity will almost certainly limit your transactions to prevent that. (I'm not certain of the details, but I don't attempt more than one exchange per fund per month, and my actual frequency is much lower than that even in unsettled times like the past few years. If I'm within 1% of my strategy it's good enough.)

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    Clearly, Fidelity does allow investment outside of Fidelity funds families, as OP is inquiring about two Vanguard funds. You might want to modify that paragraph; otherwise +1 good answer, especially your final paragraph! Mar 30, 2023 at 11:50
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    Good catch, @EllieKesselman. Rewritten.
    – keshlam
    Mar 30, 2023 at 14:14

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