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Is Vanguard Growth & Income Investor (VQNPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Large Cap Blend fund? Starting with Vanguard Growth & Income Investor (VQNPX) is one possibility. VQNPX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

VQNPX is classified in the Large Cap Blend segment by Zacks, which is an area full of potential. Targeting companies with market caps of more than $10 billion, Large Cap Blend mutual funds offer a stable investment choice; these funds are perfect for investors with a " buy and hold " mindset. Since blended funds mix large, more established firms into their portfolios, investors are exposed to both value and growth opportunities.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VQNPX. The Vanguard Growth & Income Investor made its debut in December of 1986 and VQNPX has managed to accumulate roughly $2.66 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. VQNPX has a 5-year annualized total return of 10.79% and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 13.51%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Over the past three years, VQNPX's standard deviation comes in at 11.33%, compared to the category average of 10.31%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 11.2% compared to the category average of 10.22%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In VQNPX's case, the fund lost 51.94% in the most recent bear market and underperformed comparable funds by 2.62%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.99, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -0.04. This means that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 98.52% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $235.49 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, VQNPX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.33% compared to the category average of 0.96%. From a cost perspective, VQNPX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Growth & Income Investor ( VQNPX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

Want even more information about VQNPX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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