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Is Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Admiral (VFWAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VFWAX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Investors in search of a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund might want to consider looking at Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Admiral (VFWAX). VFWAX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

VFWAX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Admiral made its debut in September of 2011, and since then, VFWAX has accumulated about $8.28 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. Justin Hales is the fund's current manager and has held that role since February of 2016.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. VFWAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 9.46% and is 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 10.22%, 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. Over the past three years, VFWAX's standard deviation comes in at 17.36%, compared to the category average of 15.82%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.89% compared to the category average of 13.43%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.85, so investors should note that it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. With a negative alpha of -4.88, 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, VFWAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.11% compared to the category average of 0.78%. From a cost perspective, VFWAX 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

Want even more information about VFWAX? 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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