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

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Having trouble finding a Global - Equity fund? Vanguard Global Equity Fund (VHGEX - Free Report) is a potential starting point. VHGEX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (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. Vanguard Global Equity Fund made its debut in August of 1995, and since then, VHGEX has accumulated about $5.94 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 7.61%, and is in the top 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 12.55%, 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 11.56%, the standard deviation of VHGEX over the past three years is 11.27%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 11.27% compared to the category average of 11.5%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. In the most recent bear market, VHGEX lost 60.88% and underperformed its peer group by 8.31%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.94, so it is likely going to be less volatile than 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. VHGEX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -2.39, demonstrating that 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 1.16%. So, VHGEX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $3,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Global Equity Fund ( VHGEX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

This could just be the start of your research on VHGEXin 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. 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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