Looking only at returns (while not considering risk), the Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund looks like a good investment compared to its benchmarks. (Please note that the Vanguard fund's annualized return is measured from its inception on Dec. 27, 1978 through 2009. The benchmarks' annualized returns are measured from 1979 through 2009.)
- Vanguard High Yield Corporate -- 8.72 percent
- Five-Year Treasury Notes -- 8.23 percent
- Gov't Bond Index (1-30 Years) -- 8.45 percent
- Barclays Capital Credit Bond Index Intermediate -- 8.70 percent
As we did on Wednesday, let's look at two portfolios that are rebalanced annually:
- Portfolio A has a 60 percent allocation to the S&P 500 Index and a 40 percent allocation to the Vanguard fund. This portfolio returned 8.1 percent per year with a standard deviation of 16.1 percent.
- Portfolio B has a 60 percent allocation to the S&P 500 and a 40 percent allocation to five-year Treasuries. This portfolio returned 8.2 percent but did so with a standard deviation of just 11.6 percent.
As we have seen, it's important to consider the effect of adding an investment or asset class on your entire portfolio before adding it, no matter how good it may look beforehand.