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Is Vanguard Information Technology Index Admiral (VITAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Are you on the hunt for a Sector - Tech fund? You should think about starting with Vanguard Information Technology Index Admiral (VITAX - Free Report) . The fund does not have a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, though we have been able to explore other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

Objective

VITAX is part of the Sector - Tech category, which boasts an array of different possible selections. With a much more diversified approach, Sector - Tech mutual funds give investors a way to own a stake in a notoriously risky sector. Tech companies are in various industries like semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, among others.

History of Fund/Manager

VITAX is a part of the Vanguard Group family of funds, a company based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Information Technology Index Admiral debuted in January of 2004. Since then, VITAX has accumulated assets of about $5.69 billion, according to the most recently available information. Walter Nejman is the fund's current manager and has held that role since December of 2015.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. VITAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 28.25% and is 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 30.56%, 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. Over the past three years, VITAX's standard deviation comes in at 22.07%, compared to the category average of 16.93%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 18.8% compared to the category average of 14.35%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.11, which means it is hypothetically more 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 10.38, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 94.28% of its holdings in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $512.61 billion. Turnover is about 5%, so those in charge of the fund make fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, VITAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.10% compared to the category average of 1.37%. So, VITAX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $100,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

Want even more information about VITAX? 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. 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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