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Is Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VDIGX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you have been looking for Large Cap Blend funds, a place to start could be Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX). VDIGX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

VDIGX is classified in the Large Cap Blend segment by Zacks, which is an area full of potential. Targeting companies with market caps of more than $10 billion, Large Cap Blend mutual funds offer a stable investment choice; these funds are perfect for investors with a " buy and hold " mindset. Since blended funds mix large, more established firms into their portfolios, investors are exposed to both value and growth opportunities.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VDIGX. Since Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund made its debut in May of 1992, VDIGX has garnered more than $52.95 billion in assets. The fund's current manager, Donald J. Kilbride, has been in charge of the fund since February of 2006.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. VDIGX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.98% and it sits in the middle 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 16.82%, 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. VDIGX's standard deviation over the past three years is 15.98% compared to the category average of 19.15%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 13.22% compared to the category average of 15.6%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.82, 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. VDIGX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 0.47, demonstrating that 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, VDIGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.26% compared to the category average of 0.95%. From a cost perspective, VDIGX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund ( VDIGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund ( VDIGX ) looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about VDIGX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis 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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