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Is Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Administrative (VIMAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
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There are plenty of choices in the Index category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Administrative (VIMAX). While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VIMAX. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Administrative debuted in November of 2001. Since then, VIMAX has accumulated assets of about $41.17 billion, according to the most recently available information. Donald M. Butler is the fund's current manager and has held that role since November of 2001.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 12.75%, and it sits 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 12.54%, 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, VIMAX's standard deviation comes in at 9.98%, compared to the category average of 8.81%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 10.04% 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 cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. VIMAX lost 53.51% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 6.96%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 0.98, the fund is likely to be as volatile as 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. VIMAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.21, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, VIMAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.05% compared to the category average of 0.85%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VIMAX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $10,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $1.

Bottom Line

Want even more information about VIMAX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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