Is Value Line Income & Growth Investor (VALIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Allocation Balanced fund seekers should consider taking a look at Value Line Income & Growth Investor (VALIX). VALIX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Load Error

Objective

VALIX is classified in the Allocation Balanced segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Here, investors are able to get a good head start with diversified mutual funds, and play around with core holding options for a portfolio of funds. Allocation Balanced funds look to invest across a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation.

History of Fund/Manager

VALIX is a part of the Value Line family of funds, a company based out of New York, NY. The Value Line Income & Growth Investor made its debut in October of 1952 and VALIX has managed to accumulate roughly $589.31 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund’s current manager, Liane Rosenberg, has been in charge of the fund since May of 2011.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 16.8%, 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 17.62%, 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. VALIX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 20.26% compared to the category average of 15.4%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 16.37% compared to the category average of 12.79%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund’s risk compared to the market as a whole. VALIX has a 5-year beta of 0.99, which means it is likely to be as volatile as the market average. 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. VALIX’s 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 0.84, which means managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, VALIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.07% compared to the category average of 0.89%. VALIX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Value Line Income & Growth Investor ( VALIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on VALIXin the Allocation Balanced category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank 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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