Is Vanguard Equity Income Investor (VEIPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Large Cap Value funds, a place to start could be Vanguard Equity Income Investor (VEIPX). VEIPX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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Objective

VEIPX is one of many Large Cap Value mutual funds to choose from. These funds invest in equities with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, but whose share prices do not reflect their intrinsic value. This strategy can often produce low P/E ratios and high dividend yields; growth levels; however, growth levels are oftentimes cut back. These funds’high growth opportunities are slowed even more since large-cap stocks are usually in more stable industries with low to moderate growth prospects. Thus, investors interested in a stable income stream fund Large Cap Value funds very appealing.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VEIPX. The Vanguard Equity Income Investor made its debut in March of 1988 and VEIPX has managed to accumulate roughly $4.91 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 10.56%, 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 6.74%, 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. The standard deviation of VEIPX over the past three years is 17.46% compared to the category average of 17.62%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 14.17% compared to the category average of 14.66%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.89, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than 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 -2.71, which shows that 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.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 86.75% of its assets in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $138.88 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Finance
  2. Non-Durable
  3. Health
  4. Technology

With turnover at about 35%, this fund is making fewer trades than comparable funds.

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, VEIPX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.28% compared to the category average of 0.99%. VEIPX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $3,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Equity Income Investor ( VEIPX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don’t stop here for your research on Large Cap Value 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 VEIPX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.

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