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Is Vanguard Value Index Investor (VIVAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Investors in search of a Large Cap Value fund might want to consider looking at Vanguard Value Index Investor (VIVAX). VIVAX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

Objective

VIVAX is classified in the Large Cap Value segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Investors interested in a stable income stream fund these mutual funds very appealing because they have a unique investing strategy. Large Cap Value funds invest in stocks with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, but whose share prices do not reflect their intrinsic value. This tactic often leads to low P/E ratios and high dividend yields; however, these funds'high growth opportunity are often slowed, as large-cap securities are generally in stable industries with low to moderate growth prospects.

History of Fund/Manager

VIVAX is a part of the Vanguard Group family of funds, a company based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Value Index Investor made its debut in November of 1992, and since then, VIVAX has accumulated about $315.96 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. Gerard C. O'Reilly is the fund's current manager and has held that role since December of 1994.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.55%, and it sits 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 11.24%, 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, VIVAX's standard deviation comes in at 11.99%, compared to the category average of 10.13%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 11.64% compared to the category average of 10.24%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. VIVAX lost 53.97% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 3%. These results could imply that the fund is a worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. VIVAX has a 5-year beta of 0.94, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. VIVAX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -1.06, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring 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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 89.04% stock in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $133.35 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Finance
  2. Technology
  3. Industrial Cyclical
  4. Health

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, VIVAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.17% compared to the category average of 0.99%. VIVAX 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 $3,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

Your research on the Large Cap Value segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer 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.