Is Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund (VSCGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund (VSCGX) is a potential starting point. VSCGX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

VSCGX is a part of the Vanguard Group family of funds, a company based out of Malvern, PA. Since Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund made its debut in September of 1994, VSCGX has garnered more than $11.13 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by William A. Coleman who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2022.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 4.63%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. If you’re interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund’s 3-year annualized total return of 4.78%, which places it in the middle 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 VSCGX over the past three years is 8.34% compared to the category average of 9.26%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 7.18% compared to the category average of 7.92%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.41, so investors should note that it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -1.49, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, VSCGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.12% compared to the category average of 0.92%. So, VSCGX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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 LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund ( VSCGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar 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 Mutual Fund Equity Report 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 VSCGX to its peers as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.

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