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Is Vanguard Developed Markets Index Admiral (VTMGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Non US - Equity fund? Vanguard Developed Markets Index Admiral (VTMGX - Free Report) is a potential starting point. VTMGX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

VTMGX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VTMGX. The Vanguard Developed Markets Index Admiral made its debut in August of 1999 and VTMGX has managed to accumulate roughly $15.21 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Christine D. Franquin who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2013.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 0.82%, and it sits 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 3.44%, 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 VTMGX over the past three years is 11.28% compared to the category average of 9.53%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 11.53% compared to the category average of 9.65%. 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. VTMGX lost 57.05% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 1.36%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.85, which means 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. VTMGX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -5.93, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, VTMGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.07% compared to the category average of 1.25%. From a cost perspective, VTMGX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $3,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Developed Markets Index Admiral ( VTMGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund 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 Non US - Equity, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.




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