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Is Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Investor (VEIEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VEIEX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you're looking for a Non US - Equity fund category, then a possible option is Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Investor (VEIEX). VEIEX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

- Zacks

Objective

Zacks categorizes VEIEX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VEIEX. The Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Investor made its debut in May of 1994 and VEIEX has managed to accumulate roughly $178.12 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. Michael Perre is the fund's current manager and has held that role since August of 2008.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.29%, and is in the middle third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 7.92%, 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 VEIEX over the past three years is 18.97% compared to the category average of 15.42%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.21% compared to the category average of 12.8%. 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. VEIEX has a 5-year beta of 0.78, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. With a negative alpha of -3.49, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, VEIEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.29% compared to the category average of 1.18%. From a cost perspective, VEIEX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Non US - Equity, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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