Does VSMAX invest in smaller companies than FSEVX?

VSMAX seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of small-capitalization stocks. The fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP U.S. Small Cap Index, a broadly diversified index of stocks of small U.S. companies.

FSEVX seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the total return of stocks of mid- to small-capitalization United States companies. The fund normally invests at least 80% of assets in common stocks included in the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market IndexSM, which represents the performance of stocks of mid- to small-capitalization U.S. companies.

If you look at a chart, you can see that the two have a strong relationship to each other, but VSMAX performed much better over a five-year period.

1 Answer 1


You are comparing apples and oranges: the charts show the capital appreciation excluding dividends. If you include dividends and calculate a total return over that period you see VSMAX up 132% vs. FSEVX up 129%, i.e. quite close. That residual difference is possibly due to a performance difference between the two benchmarks.

  • 2
    @JimG. Very often such charts are not adjusted for dividends. To get the actual return you either need a chart with an option to show the total return (that's how I did it with a different non-free system) or manually calculate the impact of dividends.
    – assylias
    Nov 21, 2014 at 15:11
  • Aha! I actually didn't know that. One last question: Is it true that such charts do not factor in the fund expenses?
    – Jim G.
    Nov 21, 2014 at 15:16
  • 2
    @JimG. I would expect expenses to be included.
    – assylias
    Nov 21, 2014 at 15:19
  • 2
    You can get those funds' charts including dividends and expenses by using Vanguard's website instead of Yahoo. It's completely free to browse.
    – dg99
    Nov 21, 2014 at 18:26

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