Home » Year » 2012 » Do Vanguard ETF Investors Make Good Decisions? – Testing the Bogle Hypothesis

Do Vanguard ETF Investors Make Good Decisions? – Testing the Bogle Hypothesis

By Meng Xie

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, is a notable opponent of frequent ETF trading. We test his
hypothesis that Vanguard investors are not trading ETFs intelligently. A comparison of dollarweighted
and time-weighted returns is the typical method used for assessing investor timing. We
instead employ Sharpe’s style analysis techniques to compare the returns of a portfolio of ETFs
to a basket of standard Vanguard funds that mimics the ETF portfolio’s pattern of returns. We
find that the ETF portfolio underperforms the standard Vanguard funds, providing empirical
evidence supporting Bogle’s view that ETFs are misused.

View Thesis

Advisor: Edward Tower | JEL Codes: G11 | Tagged: Exchange-traded funds, Investment, Mutual funds, Vanguard

Questions?

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Jennifer Becker
dus_asst@econ.duke.edu

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly
michelle.connolly@duke.edu