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DFA vs Vanguard?

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  • DFA vs Vanguard?

    Relatively new in the world of investing and have recently moved all my funds to low cost Vanguard index funds. However, I've been reading a little more about DFA and was curious people's perspectives for those who have used it. The recent podcasts that I've listened to seem to state they were superior to Vanguard.

    1-Most importantly, do their funds outperform Vanguard? Do they outperform after we consider fees that we pay their advisors?

    2-What types of fees do most of their advisors charge, and does it vary amongst advisors or are they mandated to charge a certain %AUM.

    3-Is their "advantage" over Vanguard that they place a higher premium on value and small cap funds?

    4-Has anybody used them and wouldn't mind sharing a sample portfolio they gave them...ration of Large to small cap, value to growth, domestic to international specifically.

    5-Most of my money is in tax advantaged accounts as I'm relatively young, but when does it not make sense to make the switch (considering tax implications with selling).

    6-Is the overall impression that beyond just their affiliation with DFA, do the advisors provide quality advice such as estate planning, roth conversions, etc...


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    • #3
      In my mind DFA funds are not worth paying a DFA advisor fee to obtain.  They might not even be worth it (over Vanguard) if your lucky enough to have free access to them in your 401k or 529.  I was tempted to use DFA small cap and value funds to further concentrate my exposure to these elements above that possible with Vanguard funds, but in the end I figured it was not worth the extra 0.3-0.6% ER.  Recent history has shown I may be choosing poorly, but when one really compares apples to apples as WCI has done in his post, DFA doesn't reliably outperform Vanguard and even in the areas DFA outperforms (i.e small, value, emerging, international value), its hard to tell if this is statistical blip or maybe because there is no truly comparable Vanguard benchmark.