Technology

Is Vanguard Managed Payout Investor (VPGDX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you have been looking for Allocation Balanced funds, it would not be wise to start your search with Vanguard Managed Payout Investor (VPGDX). VPGDX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Zacks' Allocation Balanced funds is an area filled with options, such as VPGDX. These funds like to invest in a variety of asset types, finding a balance between stocks, bonds, cash, and sometimes even precious metals and commodities; they are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. For investors, Allocation Balanced funds can provide an entry point into diversified mutual funds, and present core holding options for a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

VPGDX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Since Vanguard Managed Payout Investor made its debut in April of 2008, VPGDX has garnered more than $1.78 billion in assets. John Ameriks is the fund's current manager and has held that role since March of 2014.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 4.98%, and it sits in the middle 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 5.8%, which places it in the middle 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, VPGDX's standard deviation comes in at 6.3%, compared to the category average of 7.61%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 6.33% compared to the category average of 7.8%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.49, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.87, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

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, VPGDX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.02% compared to the category average of 0.92%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VPGDX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $25,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Managed Payout Investor ( VPGDX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Managed Payout Investor ( VPGDX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Allocation Balanced funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare VPGDX to its peers as well for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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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.

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