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

Mutual Fund Report for VMMSX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

On the lookout for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Starting with Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Investor (VMMSX) is one possibility. VMMSX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VMMSX. The Vanguard Emerging Markets Select Stock Investor made its debut in June of 2011 and VMMSX has managed to accumulate roughly $918.58 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. VMMSX has a 5-year annualized total return of 9.54% and it sits 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 9.73%, 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. VMMSX's standard deviation over the past three years is 21.06% compared to the category average of 20.25%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 18.26% compared to the category average of 17.33%. 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. VMMSX has a 5-year beta of 0.9, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -5.13. This means 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, VMMSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.87% compared to the category average of 1.18%. From a cost perspective, VMMSX 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 Emerging Markets Select Stock Investor ( VMMSX ) 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.

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