Technology

Is Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund (VTHRX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you've been stuck searching for Target Date funds, consider Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund (VTHRX) as a possibility. The fund does not have a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, though we have been able to explore other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

VTHRX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Since Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Fund made its debut in June of 2006, VTHRX has garnered more than $41.88 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by William Coleman who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2013.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 11.32%, 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 11.37%, 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. Compared to the category average of 12.52%, the standard deviation of VTHRX over the past three years is 12.77%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 10.31% compared to the category average of 10.28%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.67, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.42, 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, VTHRX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.13% compared to the category average of 0.51%. VTHRX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

For additional information on the Target Date area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into VTHRX too for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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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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