Index ETF Data

* Bogleheads Simba Backtest Spreadsheet
** Exchange Factor is the currency exchange rate in CAD/USD at the end of the year divided by the exchange rate in CAD/USD at the start of the year. If there is no change in the exchange rate over the year, the Exchange Factor will be 1.
*** VIU and VEE are not used directly in the simulator, but are a component of VEQT
**** VBLTX is used without any Exchange Factor as an approximation for VAB for the period from 1928-1980 because Canadian bond data was not readily available, and because US bond rates were considered to be a reasonable approximation of Canadian bond rates without currency exchange

Vanguard ETFs are used for this simulator because of their popularity with index investors, as well as the availability of data sources. Essentially equivalent ETFs are available from other ETF providers, most notably iShares, which is a direct competitor to Vanguard for these products.

While broad diversification is a key principle of index investing, running a simulation with VTI or VUN as the only equity component may be useful for reference, as the data for those ETF’s goes back much further than the default VT and VEQT ETFs for U.S. or Canadian based portfolios, respectively.

Vanguard and iShares both offer excellent all-in-one ETF options in Canada with a variety of asset allocations depending on investor situation and risk tolerance. Examples are VBAL, XBAL, VGRO, and XGRO. These are not directly included in the Index Goose simulator, but essentially equivalent results can be obtained using the appropriate combination of VEQT and VAB. Keeping the equity and bond portions of the portfolio separate allows the simulator to easily and quickly calculate historical outcomes for a range of asset allocations.

Comparing annualized total returns of Index Goose simulator (IG) data to Canadian Couch Potato (CCP) Model Returns to end of 2020:

The relatively small difference in returns is likely due to a combination of differences in MER (Management Expense Ratio) calculations, and rebalancing timing.


United States – Bogleheads Simba Backtest Spreadsheet Inflation US (CPI-U), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI
Canada – Bogleheads Simba Backtest Spreadsheet Inflation Canada (CPI), Statistics Canada CPI

Exchange Rate Data

Since 2003 –
1928-2002 – Bank of Canada Dollar Book