Back to top

Is Vanguard Small-Cap Index Investor (NAESX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Have you been searching for an Index fund? You might want to begin with Vanguard Small-Cap Index Investor (NAESX - 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 responsible for NAESX, and the company is based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Small-Cap Index Investor debuted in March of 1975. Since then, NAESX has accumulated assets of about $4.28 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by William A. Coleman who has been in charge of the fund since April of 2016.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. NAESX has a 5-year annualized total return of 11.33% 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 16.19%, 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. Over the past three years, NAESX's standard deviation comes in at 11.34%, compared to the category average of 8.81%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 11.66% compared to the category average of 8.72%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. NAESX lost 53.25% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 6.7%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.01, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. With a negative alpha of -2.27, 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, NAESX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.17% compared to the category average of 0.85%. From a cost perspective, NAESX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

For additional information on the Index area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into NAESX too for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:


Vanguard Small-Cap Index Inv (NAESX) - free report >>

Published in