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Is Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for VFFVX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? You may want to consider Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX) as a possible option. VFFVX 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

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VFFVX. Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund debuted in August of 2010. Since then, VFFVX has accumulated assets of about $12.87 billion, according to the most recently available information. William Coleman is the fund's current manager and has held that role since February of 2013.

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 13.6%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 19.18%, 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 VFFVX over the past three years is 15.79% compared to the category average of 16.83%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.71% compared to the category average of 13.99%. This makes the fund less 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. VFFVX has a 5-year beta of 0.87, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. VFFVX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -2.18, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, VFFVX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.15% compared to the category average of 0.49%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VFFVX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 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 Mutual Fund Equity Report, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.



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