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Is Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Institutional (VBTIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Any investors who are searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds should take a look at Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Institutional (VBTIX - 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.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VBTIX. Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Institutional debuted in September of 1995. Since then, VBTIX has accumulated assets of about $42.08 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Joshua Barrickman, has been in charge of the fund since February of 2013.


Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 0.83%, and is in the middle 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 -3.72%, which places it in the middle 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 VBTIX over the past three years is 6.23% compared to the category average of 14.98%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 5.5% compared to the category average of 13.15%. 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 1.01, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as 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 0.03, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


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, VBTIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.04% compared to the category average of 0.79%. So, VBTIX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $5 million, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $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 for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.

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