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

Looking for an Index fund? You may want to consider Vanguard Institutional Index Fund (VINIX) as a possible option. While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VINIX. Vanguard Institutional Index Fund debuted in July of 1990. Since then, VINIX has accumulated assets of about $111.45 billion, according to the most recently available information. Donald M. Butler is the fund's current manager and has held that role since December of 2000.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 10.92%, and it sits 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 13.98%, 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 11.22%, compared to the category average of 7.91%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 11.27% compared to the category average of 8.83%. 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. VINIX lost 50.9% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 5.36%. These results could imply that the fund is a worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1, so it is likely going to be 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.03, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 98.68% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $242.73 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, VINIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.04% compared to the category average of 0.74%. VINIX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

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

Bottom Line

For additional information on the Index 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 VINIX too 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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