Is Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Institutional (VRGWX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you’re looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, then a possible option is Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Institutional (VRGWX). 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

VRGWX is a part of the Vanguard Group family of funds, a company based out of Malvern, PA. Since Vanguard Russell 1000 Growth Index Institutional made its debut in September of 2010, VRGWX has garnered more than $3.28 billion in assets. Walter Nejman is the fund’s current manager and has held that role since December of 2015.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 20.8%, 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 23.52%, 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, VRGWX’s standard deviation comes in at 19.5%, compared to the category average of 19.73%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 17.46% compared to the category average of 17.77%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.05, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more 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 positive alpha over the past 5 years of 3.64, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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.

Right now, 97.52% of this mutual fund’s holdings are stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $644.83 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Retail Trade

Turnover is 14%, which means, on average, the fund makes fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, VRGWX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.07% compared to the category average of 0.78%. From a cost perspective, VRGWX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $5 million and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

This could just be the start of your research on VRGWXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report 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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