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Is Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Admiral (VBILX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VBILX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you're looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, then a possible option is Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Admiral (VBILX). 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

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VBILX. Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Admiral made its debut in November of 2001, and since then, VBILX has accumulated about $19.09 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Joshua Barrickman, has been in charge of the fund since April of 2008.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.1%, 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 6.4%, 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. The standard deviation of VBILX over the past three years is 4.21% compared to the category average of 11.98%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 3.7% compared to the category average of 10.17%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1.2, the fund is likely to be more 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. With a negative alpha of -0.05, 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, VBILX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.07% compared to the category average of 0.78%. VBILX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

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

Bottom Line

This could just be the start of your research on VBILXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank 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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