Mustachian portfolios


Ok thanks for the link. Saw it earlier but I am not sure I am using the tool right. Where do you actually enter VWRL (or WOSC) ? i downloaded the reports but cant find it there.

Did you finally choose the 70/20/10 split mentioned above (including AUUSI - by the way is that one also registered)? That would mean the following (sorry to ask but new to the topic, I like reading about other strategies)

-> month 1: 70% of the saved money on VWRL
-> month 2: investment on WSOC to reach 20% of portfolio
-> month 3: investment on AUUSI to reach 10%

that would mean that (at least at first) every time you invest on VWRL the ratio will change a lot, and you will correct it in the following months? Is it better than investing on the 3 ETFs every 9 months?


I search with ISIN, but you can also search with fund name.

AUUSI: CH0106027193

If you have an initial amount to invest, it would make sense to buy your portfolio of choice at once in multiple transactions, and then distribute regular purchases so that the ratio remains correct in one year.


@hedgehog do you know why these ETFs I mentioned have identical price charts? (VWRD=VT, VUSD=VOO) Why don’t they diverge due to different TER or lack of small caps in VWRD?


Thanks @hedgehog beginner’s error, brought me to my senses.

My intention is to include
Total US stock market (hence VTI)
Total international stock market (hence VXUS)

I am wondering whether the above portfolio (weighted 55% VTI and 45% VXUS) would be sufficient to cover the total stock market spectrum, or

whether there could be any other ETF that could be added to improve performance, lower costs, optimise mix, etc. Thanks!


“US funds don’t accumulate dividends”

Just to leave no room for confusion, what you are saying is that US domiciled ETFs do not distribute dividends, but rather, they reinvest dividends.


No, the exact opposite, they pay out all dividends. That’s a good thing for swiss investors as accumulated reinvested dividends would get taxed in Switzerland with not so transparent rules as to how the extra tax is calculated. Dealing with distributing funds is much simpler.

Have a look at their distribution yield, expenses normally are first subtracted from distribution rather than recouped by selling shares


Thanks a ton @hedgehog

So the thing to be aware of (from a Swiss resident perspective) to to check whether the US domiciled ETF that one has selected appears on the list of the funds on the ICTax website.

If it doesn’t appear, then the best course of action would be (I presume) to send an email to ICTax authorities and request them to add the fund. This would avoid arbitrary taxation of any gains in the future.


On the topic of accumulating funds, I have a question which will sound trivial to many of you but I could not find an answer online: what do you actually see in your portfolio the day the dividends are paid? Is there automatically an increase in capital (ie. shares)?

Edit: What if the dividend is less than a full share?


No, that’s important for accumulating funds. Distributing funds as I already said are easy. You declare exactly the amount of dividends you received, it’s an undisputable number. For accumulating funds the line between capital gains and income is blurred, taxes are correspondingly more difficult and burden of proof what part is taxable income and what is not is on you. If the fund is in ICTAX, the authorities already did the math and you can piggyback on it

NAV value changes on the basis of which the fund’s shares are traded on the market.

Then it goes into the cash pile, there’s always of a bit of cash kept for expenses and future distributions. Some funds also invest the cash for distribution in the market during the short time before paying out, others don’t. Whatever a particular fund is doing will contribute to its tracking error vs benchmark, they don’t guarantee you it will be exactly zero.


Thanks, that would make sense. I saw that the dividends of the US-based ETFs are higher, but I thought it was solely due to the absence of the US withholding tax. I will investigate that further. It’s just hard to find a website with return chart for both EU & US ETFs.

But what about VT vs VWRD? There are a few thousands of shares missing in VWRD and is still gives the same price?


Dropping some low weighted stocks probably ain’t going to move the needle much. In fact this is exactly what some ETFs do, this is called “optimized sampling” in industry jargon

All the data you need - price & dividend is readily available e.g. on Yahoo. It seems like they’ve closed their API recently, but you can still download csv’s manually in UI. For example here’s dividend history for VWRL, note “Download Data” button. And then with just a few lines of code or an excel spreadsheet you can slap together whatever chart you want on your own


VWRD is missing small caps, which take up about 10% of VT. And small caps slightly outperform VT. In the end, we should see a small, but visible, difference.

Optimized sampling is not how Vanguards ETFs are done, or? I thought they use physical replication.

Yeah, Yahoo would be a nice option, but did you look at the chart? WTF is going on there? Yahoo and Google often suffer from this problem. Their data is unreliable.


Hmm looks like data error, just check a few other sources like vanguard’s own website

Well, I guess they didn’t this time. Anyway investigating this methodologically isn’t hard: get & clean the data, look at correlations between N day returns, throw in some simple linear regression or PCA at it, plot all things and you’ll see exactly what’s going on.


Thanks @hedgehog. However I am a bit confused since my understanding is that it contradicts your answer just above. I understood that NAV value will change, and therefore wouldn’t it be something like new share value = old share value + dividend, hence making the issue with not having full shares irrelevant?

Could you detail the cash pile story? Is it that the dividend is not paid to the investor? If there is quaterly payment of a dividend, you then need quite a lot of money to be able to purchase full shares.


NAV = sum of shares’ values + cash

After dividend is paid, cash increases, what’s so hard to understand about this and where’s the contradiction? Share’s value btw immediately drop on ex-dividend date as the dividend payment was priced into the share price by the market before ex-dividend. Between ex-dividend and dividend payment instead of cash you have accruals, but that’s a minor technical detail.

At the scale that ETF providers operate, the issue is a negligible rounding error

NAV = shares + cash

The fund will normally try to convert as much cash as possible into shares in order to track the benchmark, but there will be always some small amounts left - to pay for transactions and managers’ salaries for example, and also arising from normal day-to-day business operations: creating new or liquidating old ETF share blocks in response to market demand. Distributing ETFs also need to set aside cash to pay you your dividend


thanks this is great. i think i found another good answer on the link below:

I understand you are basically saying the same as:

"- Had I had the income version of the fund, the value of my holding would have fallen by around 4%, and I would now have 4% cash sitting in my income account

  • With the accumulation version, you don’t see any rise in your fund value from distribution yield, but you don’t lose the equivalent value either."


Assuming ETF doesn’t have to issue/destroy its shares (i.e. enough buyers/sellers meet on stock exchanges without ETF having to chime in), no changes in the index and that dividend payments are sufficient to cover fund’s expenses, a distributing fund will have exact same number of shares of each companies forever. Expenses will be substracted from dividends and the leftover cash will be distributed to you and you do whatever you want with it, you can buy more shares of the fund or you spend it elsewhere, choice is yours.

An accumulating fund on other hand will not pay this cash to you, but rather buy more of the same shit it’s invested in. So over time its ETF share will represent ownership of a larger and larger number of shares of underlying companies.

If you’d choose to reinvest dividends received from a distributing fund back into the same fund, performance should be same as from an equivalent accumulating fund (module maybe minor losses on trading fees and spreads when you buy on exchanges, maybe some taxation differences). If you’d choose instead to spend the distribution on other things, then of course the total return will not be the same. It’s common sense, money doesn’t appear out of nowhere, no?


Mustachians, i would be very interested in having your views on the following questions. I am aware that some of the topics have been approached on different parts of the forum, therefore apologies if I am too redundant:

  • If you have 100 000 CHF at hand today for investing. How would you approach it? Would you invest it all at once as a lump sum or through progressive payments? I am aware that the lump sum approach is the most effective long term because of the compounding effect but I would like to know if you have different strategies and why. One of the reason to go for progressive payments could be to avoid the psychological distress of having bought everything at a peak even if this pays off long term

  • Do you think that today is a good time for investing a lump sum? Of course I am aware that none of you has a cristal ball to predict the future but still there has been a crazy growth in the markets during previous years and we can see some potential troubles coming in the Eurozone for the next 5 years (potential Italexit, Frexit, countries threatening to leave the EUR, etc etc). Is this something you would consider to have progressive payments and make sure you buy some shares at a lower price or you dont care about external factors?


Maybe the posts and links in the following thread could be of help to you (especially from the quoted post onwards).


I had a look and I guess it’s clear now. I took the NAV value directly from Vanguard’s website since the inception of VWRL (22 May 2012) until now and compared it with VT. I got exactly the same price return.

Then I had a look at the dividends and VT had around 0.23% higher dividend than VWRL. That’s the only difference. So I guess 0.14% comes from TER (0.25% - 0.11%) and the rest comes from the US withholding tax (15% * 50%?).

The last riddle was, why small caps make no difference. This should be interesting to @glina. A short reminder: FTSE Global All Cap (MCap $52 trillion) = FTSE All-World ($46 trillion) + FTSE Global Small Cap ($6 trillion).

And a quick look at the total return:

Notice how the Global and the All-World practically overlap! And how Small Cap barely manages to outperform, then falls back in place. This is why VT and VWRL will have no relative price difference.

So where does the confusion come from? Well, @glina owns SPDR MSCI World Small Cap UCITS ETF. These are small caps only from developed markets. What is missing are emerging market small caps, which the FTSE Global Small Caps has.

To conclude, I think the whole exercise of owning small caps on top of VWRL is pointless. First of all, there is no matching ETF to fill the gap. Secondly, even if you found one, it does not outperform the VWRL. Just tell me, looking at the chart above, if you owned VT, would you still want to additionally own Small Caps?