# Silly questions from a novice

After reading these boards for a bit I have decided to take the big step. So now that I set my mind about passive investing for long term. I am reading a lot, starting by all the stuff on portfoliocharts.com which helps me understanding the basics. I also transferred my 3a money to VIAC. Therefore, I thought that a good way to try to understand funds would be to have a look at those available at VIAC. However, I think that I still don’t get it…

For example, I take the one on the list, which is not cash: CSIF CH Bonds AAA-AA (https://amfunds.credit-suisse.com/ch/en/institutional/fund/detail/CH0033846350). There I can see all the relevant data and the performance chart. When I download the history xls file, I have the Net Assets Value change over the years. However, I am having a hard time understanding the correlation between this NAV change and performance chart displayed on the website. I would assume that there is a fairly easy calculation to go from one to the other but I do not get it. I guess it is because I am still not familiar with the concept of NAV.

To try something else, I went for another found on the list: UBS ETF MSCI Switzerland IMI SRI (https://www.ubs.com/ch/en/asset-management/etf-institutional/etf-products/etf-product-detail.ch.en.ch0368190739.basedata.html). There, I can also get the data and try to compare. Here is what I did on the plot. On axis y1(date), there is the Index from the downloaded data, the “index” recalculated from the official NAV from the data where y(date)=y(date)/y(initial date)*100 and the index recalculated from the adjusted NAN from the data where y(date) is calculated similarly as the previous one. As you can see, while both the recalculated one follow the index from the data, they are always slightly off. Am I doing something silly in the way I try to recalculate the index?

I would be happy to get some help there.

By the way, for all the history xls sheet that I downloaded on amfunds.credit-suisse.com, even if the extension is .xls and I open it with excel, I get an error message telling me that the format and the extension of the files do not match. I can still open it but maybe the reason is something very obvious that I do not think about. The same goes for the composition xls file. Any idea?

NAV: Net Asset Value is in fact the real value of the stuff which is in one part of the ETF.
Usually we know the price by the closing price at the stock exchange which is not equivalent of the NAV as there is some effect if the last price is a buy price or a sell price and the spread of the market plays a role in the difference.
The difference between the Official NAV and the adjusted NAV is the distribution of the dividend. Once the dividend is paid, the adjusted NAV is the Official NAV minus the dividend. The drop of the blue curve on 05.09.2018 is due to the dividend paid.
There is a difference between the NAV and the index because maybe the found manager is clever and wins a bit on the index but usually the fund loses a bit on the index due to the fees of the management of the found. In your case the manager shall be good as the green curve is higher than the black curve.
In your example they probably make the difference between the official and adjusted NAV because the MSCI Switzerland is a performance index (which assumes reinvestment of the dividend) and the found is distributing the dividend.

Thanks a lot for your answer. I also understand more now. However, even after thinking about it, I am not sure I fully get this:

A price index is an index on the price of the shares. Some examples of price index are SMI, S&P500 or CAC40.
A performance index is an index if you reinvest the dividend to buy more shares. An exmaple of performance index is the german DAX.
In the SIX they make the difference between price return or total return:

You see the difference between the price of the SMI which did not evolve that much over 20 years in comparison to the SMIC (C for compound) which climbed more than 100%.
You see the similar effect between an ETF that is distributing the dividend or reinvesting the dividend.
In the following I compare the ETF VUSA from Vanguard with the ETF CSSPX from BlackRock. Both track the S&P500 and both are priced in EUR for this example. But the VUSA is distributing and the CSSPX is reinvesting. At the beginning it makes almost no difference but after few years it makes big return.

Always be aware if your index is a performance or price index. It can make big difference.

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All MSCI indexes are published in all three flavors: price return, total (gross) return and net return. Just make sure you know which one you’re looking at

ETFs are usually benchmarked against NR index

Tanks a lot to both of you, it was really helpful. So I guess the take home message would that that I should not compare price and performance indices because it doesn’t make much sense. However, I then guess that by knowing the dividend yield, it should be fairly easy calculate one from the other.

Also, regarding the example with the ETF VUSA from Vanguard with the ETF CSSPX from BlackRock, I guess that if I reinvest the dividends from the first one, I should end up with a graph similar to the ETF CSSPX from BlackRock. Of course, this is assuming that the dividend distributed from VUSA is similar to the one reinvested by CSSPX. Is that correct?