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Is Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Admiral (VDADX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

On the lookout for a Large Cap Blend fund? Starting with Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Admiral (VDADX) is one possibility. VDADX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

VDADX is part of the Large Cap Blend section, an area that boasts an array of many possible options. Large Cap Blend mutual funds most often invest in firms with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more. By investing in bigger companies, these funds offer more stability, and are often well-suited for investors with a " buy and hold " mindset. Blended funds mix large, established companies into their holdings, which gives investors exposure to both value and growth at the same time.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is responsible for VDADX, and the company is based out of Malvern, PA. The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Admiral made its debut in December of 2013 and VDADX has managed to accumulate roughly $7.74 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Walter Nejman who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2016.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 10.41%, 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 13.7%, 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. VDADX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.64% compared to the category average of 10.66%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 11.3% compared to the category average of 10.77%. This makes the fund more 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.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. VDADX has a 5-year beta of 0.9, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. VDADX's 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 0.64, which means managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, VDADX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.08% compared to the category average of 0.96%. So, VDADX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Admiral ( VDADX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

For additional information on the Large Cap Blend 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 VDADX too for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.


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