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Is Vanguard Global Equity Fund (VHGEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If investors are looking at the Global - Equity fund category, Vanguard Global Equity Fund (VHGEX - Free Report) could be a potential option. VHGEX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

VHGEX is classified in the Global - Equity segment by Zacks, an area full of possibilities. Even though Global - Equity mutual funds invest in bigger markets like the U.S., Europe, and Japan, these kinds of funds aren't limited by geography. Rather, they offer an investment strategy that utilizes the global economy to provide stable returns.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VHGEX. Since Vanguard Global Equity Fund made its debut in August of 1995, VHGEX has garnered more than $5.83 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. VHGEX has a 5-year annualized total return of 11.69% and it sits 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 9.73%, 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 11.2%, the standard deviation of VHGEX over the past three years is 10.53%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 10.22% compared to the category average of 10.86%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, VHGEX lost 60.88% and underperformed comparable funds by 8.48%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 0.97, the fund is likely to be as volatile as the market average. 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 negative alpha of -2.16, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, VHGEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.48% compared to the category average of 1.20%. From a cost perspective, VHGEX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Global Equity Fund has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on VHGEX in the Global - Equity 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. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.




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