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Is Vanguard Total International Stock Index AD (VTIAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VTIAX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you've been stuck searching for Index funds, consider Vanguard Total International Stock Index AD (VTIAX) as a possibility. The fund does not have a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, though we have been able to explore other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

VTIAX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Total International Stock Index AD debuted in November of 2010. Since then, VTIAX has accumulated assets of about $79.32 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Michael Perre who has been in charge of the fund since November of 2010.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.85%, and it sits in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 8.24%, which places it in the bottom 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. VTIAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 18.14% compared to the category average of 15.35%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 14.87% compared to the category average of 12.7%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.86, 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. VTIAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -4.39, demonstrating 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, VTIAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.11% compared to the category average of 0.79%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VTIAX 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 Index, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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