This may be a question that could be directed squarely at ICEco1d, but I figured I would open it up to everyone. I am trying to get my arms around ETF/Index strategies, but the problem I am finding is that I cannot find good history of returns. For example, most of the actively managed funds I use have track records going back generally 10 years or more, often 15 or 20 or more. But trying to compare an Index/ETF-type model protfolio is tough because so many ETF's and Index funds don't have track records beyond 5 or 6 years. Some of the more mundane funds do (i.e. S&P 500 index funds, EAFE Fund, Bond Index, etc.). But some of the more specific indexes (i.e. mid-cap index, small-cap growth index, etc.) just don't have funds with long track records. Now, it may be that they DO, and I just can't identifiy which funds they are. My point is, if anyone knows an easy way, through Morningstar or something else (even white papers or available charts), to look at a well-diversified portfolio of index funds (with a 10 year+ track record), please let me know.
Total Returns Cumulative(%) Average Annualized(%) YTD 1 Mo 3 Mo 6 Mo Since Fund Inception 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr Since Fund Inception Month End as of 3/31/2009 Fund -3.39 9.48 -3.39 -29.84 -14.09 -39.66 -15.05 -4.11 N/A -1.95 Index -3.36 9.53 -3.36 -29.81 -12.65 -39.58 -14.89 -3.91 -0.86 -1.74 Quarter End as of 3/31/2009 Fund -3.39 9.48 -3.39 -29.84 -14.09 -39.66 -15.05 -4.11 N/A -1.95 Index -3.36 9.53 -3.36 -29.81 -12.65 -39.58 -14.89 -3.91 -0.86 -1.74 Here is a chart... You can draw a conclusion that the etf will mirror the index minus expenses.
ETFs had their genesis in 1989 with Index Participation Shares, an S&P 500 proxy that traded on the American Stock Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. This product, however, was short-lived after a lawsuit by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was successful in stopping sales in the United States.
A similar product, Toronto Index Participation Shares, started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1990. The shares, which tracked the TSE 35 and later the TSE 100 stocks, proved to be popular. The popularity of these products led the American Stock Exchange to try to develop something that would satisfy SEC regulation in the United States.
Nathan Most, an executive with the exchange, developed Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipts (AMEX: SPY), which were introduced in January 1993. Known as SPDRs or "Spiders," the fund became the largest ETF in the world. Other U.S. ETFs quickly followed based on other broad market indexes.
Barclays Global Investors, a subsidiary of Barclays plc, entered the fray in 1996 with World Equity Benchmark Shares, or WEBS, subsequently renamed iShares MSCI Index Fund Shares. WEBS tracked MSCI country indexes, originally 17, of the funds' index provider, Morgan Stanley. WEBS were particularly innovative because they gave casual investors easy access to foreign markets. While SPDRs were organized as unit investment trusts, WEBS were set up as a mutual fund, the first of their kind. 
In 1998, State Street Global Advisors introduced the "Sector Spiders," which follow the nine sectors of the S&P 500.
Since then ETFs have proliferated, tailored to an increasingly specific array of regions, sectors, commodities, bonds, futures, and other asset classes. As of May 2008, there were 680 ETFs in the U.S., with $610 billion in assets, an increase of $125 billion over the previous twelve months
simple-- use the Port Tools on the ishares website— you can choose to build histories with either the ETFs or the underlying indexes that go way back. can print in presentation format
Thanks guys. I understand that the ETF’s mirror the indexes minus an expense factor. I just didn’t know where I could find a good list of all the index returns going back further than the advent of the ETF’s.
NEW, I think you gave me what I am looking for. Thanks.