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Is Vanguard Energy Admiral (VGELX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VGELX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you have been looking for Sector - Energy fund category, a potential starting could be Vanguard Energy Admiral (VGELX). VGELX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

VGELX is one of many Sector - Energy funds to choose from. Sector - Energy mutual funds are comprised of various changing and hugely important industries throughout the massive global energy sector. Even though clean energy is beginning to pick up steam, oil and gas companies have the highest exposure, but carbon-based fuels will be the biggest group of assets in these funds.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VGELX. Since Vanguard Energy Admiral made its debut in November of 2001, VGELX has garnered more than $3.05 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by G. Thomas Levering who has been in charge of the fund since January of 2020.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of -3.15%, and is in the top 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 -11.85%, 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, VGELX's standard deviation comes in at 27.46%, compared to the category average of 29.69%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 22.92% compared to the category average of 24.45%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.26, so it is likely going to be more 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 -19.82, which shows that 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, VGELX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.29% compared to the category average of 1.53%. From a cost perspective, VGELX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $50,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Energy Admiral ( VGELX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Energy Admiral ( VGELX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Sector - Energy 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 VGELX to its peers as well for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.



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