Is Vanguard Institutional Index Fund (VINIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Are you on the hunt for an Index fund? You should think about starting with Vanguard Institutional Index Fund VINIX . VINIX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.


History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is responsible for VINIX, and the company is based out of Malvern, PA. The Vanguard Institutional Index Fund made its debut in July of 1990 and VINIX has managed to accumulate roughly $124.34 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Donald M. Butler who has been in charge of the fund since December of 2000.


Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. VINIX has a 5-year annualized total return of 13.08% and is in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 12.48%, 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, VINIX's standard deviation comes in at 10.25%, compared to the category average of 9.16%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 9.71% compared to the category average of 9.41%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. In VINIX's case, the fund lost 50.9% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 4.35%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. VINIX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.03, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


Investigating 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 90.86% of its assets in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $194.71 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance

With turnover at about 5%, this fund is making fewer trades than comparable funds.


As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, VINIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.04% compared to the category average of 0.85%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VINIX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5 million, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

This could just be the start of your research on VINIX in the Index category. Consider going to for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.

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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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