IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fidelity versus Vanguard: Comparing the Performance of the Two Largest Mutual Fund Families


  • Tower, Edward
  • Zheng, Wei


This paper compares the risk and return of investing in equity mutual funds provided by the world's two largest mutual fund families: Fidelity and Vanguard over a long horizon. We believe this will help guide investors; this study is an example of the calculations that mutual fund companies should facilitate by being required to provide accurate, accessible and free data. Over the entire period 1977 through 2003 both Fidelity's (no load) and Vanguard's diversified U.S. funds out returned the Wilshire 5000 index; Fidelity's portfolio out returned Vanguard's portfolio by 0.62 % per year but under returned it by 0.39 % when risk adjusted.

Suggested Citation

  • Tower, Edward & Zheng, Wei, 2004. "Fidelity versus Vanguard: Comparing the Performance of the Two Largest Mutual Fund Families," Working Papers 04-08, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:04-08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    2. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
    3. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
    4. Gaurav Datt & Valerie Kozel & Martin Ravallion, 2003. "A Model-Based Assessment of India's Progress in Reducing Poverty in the 1990s," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-32, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    6. Filmer, Deon*Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
    7. Siwan Anderson, 2003. "Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 269-310, April.
    8. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G - Financial Economics
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:04-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Department of Economics Webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.