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Is Vanguard Windsor-II Admiral (VWNAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Equity Report category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Vanguard Windsor-II Admiral (VWNAX). VWNAX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

VWNAX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard Windsor-II Admiral debuted in May of 2001. Since then, VWNAX has accumulated assets of about $39.30 billion, according to the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

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 8.69%, 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 8.69%, 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, VWNAX's standard deviation comes in at 22.13%, compared to the category average of 19.31%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 19.52% compared to the category average of 16.96%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.01, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. 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. VWNAX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -0.62, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

Right now, 99.18% of this mutual fund's holdings are stocks, with an average market capitalization of $247.84 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  • Technology

  • Finance

With turnover at about 18%, this fund is making fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, VWNAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.26% compared to the category average of 0.99%. VWNAX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $50,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $1.

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard Windsor-II Admiral ( VWNAX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard Windsor-II Admiral ( VWNAX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Equity Report funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare VWNAX to its peers 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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