• Kale

FIRE: Better index than the VTSAX?

Making sure we are all investing in the right index fund.

Everyone who has ever picked up a personal finance/financial independence book has heard that "individual investors should not attempt to stock pick (beat the market) and should instead simply buy the entire market".

This concept is the brainchild of Jack Bogle and has proven, for the most part, correct over the last 30 years,

For those unaware, Jack Bogle started Vanguard & created the first index fund. Vanguard is that investment firm that offers the FIRE staple - Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX).

In theory, the VTSAX is the only equity investment the FIRE community members should make before/after/during "retire-early".

This is best accomplished by automatic transfers into your brokerage account and continued purchasing/reinvesting into the index fund.

This all leads us to the big question - is the VTSAX truly the best choice?

Many new funds have been created during the last 10 years that are incredibly similar in structure. I will use the following data points to determine our winner of the reviewed alternative funds: performance over the last 1, 5, and 10 year periods, fees/costs, minimum balance requirements.

Here are the competitors:

  1. VTSAX* (the OG)

  2. Schwab Total Market Index Fund (SWTSX)

  3. Fidelity Zero Total Market Index Fund (FZROX)


Reference Page

YTD Performance: -3.40%

5 YR: 10.02%

10 YR: 13.73%

Fees/Expense Ratio: 0.04%

Minimum Investment Requirements: $3,000


Reference Page

YTD Performance: -3.54%

5 YR: 9.95%

10 YR: 13.65%

Fees/Expense Ratio: 0.03%

Minimum Investment Requirements: $0.00


Reference Page

YTD Performance: -3.62%

5 YR: NA (started in 2018)

10 YR: NA (started in 2018)

Fees/Expense Ratio: 0.00%

Minimum Investment Requirements: $0.00


This isn't rocket science folks.

It appears based on this high-level review that the VTSAX is the superior index choice IF you have a minimum of $3,000 to invest.

The Vanguard alternative if you do not have the $3,000 is the VTI ETF. This performs just about as well as the other 2 funds above.

Time will tell if the Fidelity Zero expense index proves to be a great new option, but early YTD data still showing it underperforming VTSAX even after expenses are deducted.

For now, stick with VTSAX or VTI.

Contact us


Deposits with Froogal are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other government agency.

Deposits with Froogal are also not the obligation of or guaranteed by the underlying banking institutions. 

Although it is unlikely, you could lose money holding funds with Froogal.  

Froogal Inc. via the online web platform Froogal.us (“Froogal”) offers a software-based wealth management engine that delivers automated financial planning tools to help users achieve better outcomes.

By using this website, you understand the information being presented is provided for informational purposes only and agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. ​

Neither Froogal Inc. nor its affiliates are a bank. 

"Featured" banks and deposit rates on Froogal should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice.  Users should conduct their own research before selecting a deposit option and are wholly responsible for their bank selection. Rates displayed are updated weekly based on listing on www.depositaccounts.com. Rates displayed are subject to change at any time by the underlying banks.  If rates should change, Froogal will notify users once identified. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW ACCOUNT — To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

Customers can only open accounts via online web portal or App.  All funds incoming transfers must be from federally regulated banks & credit unions that are subject to the same BSA/AML compliance laws.

© 2020 Froogal Inc. All rights reserved.