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Questions regarding Vanguard Index Fund

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I want to invest in Vanguard index fund 300, however I would like to know a few detail's regarding it first.

Is there a way to find out how many people have invested in vanguard?
I am also confused regarding how index fund's work, you see, with normal shares you can tell when the share price goes up or down but with vanguard it's a bit tricky? I mean if the minimum investment is 5000 dollars then how do I know if my index fund is going up or down? I know I am missing something.. but I just don't know what.

Does vanguard pay out dividends? I know that if you buy a share and the company does well, your share increases or pays out more dividends, however how do you tell when it comes to vanguard?


Does vanguard have a historical price chart? I just kinda want to get a feel of where my index fund will be in the next 10-20 year's.
 
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I want to invest in Vanguard index fund 300, however I would like to know a few detail's regarding it first.

Is there a way to find out how many people have invested in vanguard?
I am also confused regarding how index fund's work, you see, with normal shares you can tell when the share price goes up or down but with vanguard it's a bit tricky? I mean if the minimum investment is 5000 dollars then how do I know if my index fund is going up or down? I know I am missing something.. but I just don't know what.

Does vanguard pay out dividends? I know that if you buy a share and the company does well, your share increases or pays out more dividends, however how do you tell when it comes to vanguard?


Does vanguard have a historical price chart? I just kinda want to get a feel of where my index fund will be in the next 10-20 year's.
Hi. Possibly the Vanguard web-site could be of help to you. I had a quick look at it and the information it has on index funds is quite extensive. Probably better for you to go there and have a squiz at each of their products.
 
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You can't know how many "people" have invested in the ETF, but you can check their website for the current fund size etc:

VAS: S&P/ASX 300 Index 0.15% 31/01/2014 513.9 million 7.2 billion

The first figure there ($513.9M) is the value of issued ETF units, the second value is the total vlaue of the underlying managed fund - remember in this case the fund existed for a while prior to availability of a listed ETF for it. Note the 0.15% figure refers to the management fees.

To track the real-time, theoretical value of a unit in the ETF, you can also use their website where they publish an intra-day "NAV" (Net Asset Value) every minute, found here: https://www.vanguardinvestments.com.au/retail/ret/investments/etfdetailVASIFE.jsp

The NAV includes the value of any dividend entitlements that exists for the underlying shares in the fund that have not yet been distributed. Distributions (dividends) happen every three months, and include any franking credits etc that you are entitled to claim with the dividends paid by the underlying shares. You also have the option to have the distributions re-invested and issues to you as new ETF units if you want, with no brokerage cost or spread costs incurred.

You can look up an historical price chart just the same as for any other stock through a online broker, o through google or yahoo finance, the ASX website etc etc. VAS is a pretty liquid and heavily traded ETF, to the trade price history gives a pretty good historical picture. In terms of where it's likely to be, just look at historical all ords performance - that's basically what it will track pretty closely - with a small amount of under-performance due to the management fee (currently 0.15%pa).

You may also like to know that there are market makers for ETFs, who are always quoting a buy/sell offer at a reasonable spread around the NAV at any point in time. So the costs to buy/sell are pretty low. Note however that the market makers to not quote during open/closing auctions, and only start after the entire market has opened - so avoid trading these things when the MMs aren't there IMO.
 
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