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Is Vanguard Wellington Investor (VWELX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Allocation Balanced fund seekers should consider taking a look at Vanguard Wellington Investor (VWELX - Free Report) . VWELX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

VWELX is classified in the Allocation Balanced segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Here, investors are able to get a good head start with diversified mutual funds, and play around with core holding options for a portfolio of funds. Allocation Balanced funds look to invest across a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VWELX. Vanguard Wellington Investor debuted in July of 1929. Since then, VWELX has accumulated assets of about $16.43 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Loren L. Moran who has been in charge of the fund since January of 2017.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 11.76%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 13.32%, 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. VWELX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.82% compared to the category average of 14%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 9.65% compared to the category average of 11.5%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.62, 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 positive alpha of 0.26, managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, VWELX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.24% compared to the category average of 0.89%. VWELX 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

Overall, Vanguard Wellington Investor ( VWELX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Wellington Investor ( VWELX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Allocation Balanced, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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