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

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If you've been stuck searching for Target Date funds, consider Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX - Free Report) as a possibility. The fund does not have a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, though we have been able to explore other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is responsible for VFFVX, and the company is based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund debuted in August of 2010. Since then, VFFVX has accumulated assets of about $13.85 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, William Coleman, has been in charge of the fund since February of 2013.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. VFFVX has a 5-year annualized total return of 13.95% 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 14.13%, 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. VFFVX's standard deviation over the past three years is 16.71% compared to the category average of 17.13%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.44% compared to the category average of 13.82%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.87, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. 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 has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.36, demonstrating that 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 0.51%. VFFVX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

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

Bottom Line

Don't stop here for your research on Target Date funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare VFFVX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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