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Is VWIUX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Bond category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that you should consider investigating is Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral (VWIUX - Free Report) . VWIUX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VWIUX. The Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral made its debut in February of 2001 and VWIUX has managed to accumulate roughly $84.62 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. James D'Arcy is the fund's current manager and has held that role since June of 2013.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 3.15%, and is in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 4.91%, 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. Compared to the category average of 9.64%, the standard deviation of VWIUX over the past three years is 3.52%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 3.48% compared to the category average of 8.21%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

With a beta of 0.55, this fund is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, VWIUX has a negative alpha of -0.02, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Ratings

Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, VWIUX has 66.97% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher, while 31.41% are of medium quality, with ratings of 'A' to 'BBB'. The fund has an average quality of AA, and focuses on high quality securities.

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, VWIUX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.09% compared to the category average of 0.80%. So, VWIUX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $50,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral ( VWIUX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral ( VWIUX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on VWIUXin the Mutual Fund Bond category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well 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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