A mutual fund I have (Vanguard Health Care Inv - VGHCX) dropped around 8% in one day...which is kind of unusual for a fund. All the while the general stock market rose slightly.

Which brings me to my question... How do I research why it went down? What specifically caused it to do so.

I don't have any specialized tools other than Google/Yahoo/MSN finance sites...

  • 1
    It seems pretty volatile (fits the industry). There was a similar drop in March, have you figured out what caused that one?
    – littleadv
    Dec 25, 2014 at 6:28
  • @littleadv No, I did not. Was to busy at that time and I forgot about it. My question is more about how to research these things - that is the part I am missing... Dec 25, 2014 at 6:35
  • Duplicate of Mutual fund value went down, shares went up, no action taken by me. In this instance matters are more scary because VGHCX went ex-dividend on Friday (price went down) but the re-investment shares were not recorded till the following Monday. Dec 25, 2014 at 14:39
  • Although one answer is the same, I think this is a subtly different question to the proposed duplicate. In particular it doesn't have the "but the total value went up" aspect, and it's asking more generally how to research the causes. Dec 25, 2014 at 19:58
  • @GaneshSittampalam Oh, please! In view of the pseudonym chosen by the OP, perhaps the most appropriate answer to "How to research the causes?" would be "RTFM!" or "Read the answers to this question!" Dec 26, 2014 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


Usually there are annual or semi-annual reports for a mutual fund that may give an idea for when a fund will have "distributions" which can cause the NAV to fall as this is when the fund passes the taxable liabilities to shareholders in the form of a dividend. Alternatively, the prospectus of the fund may also have the data on the recent distribution history that is likely what you want. If you don't understand why a fund would have a distribution, I highly suggest researching the legal structure of an open-end mutual fund where there more than a few rules about how taxes are handled for this case.

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