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Is Vanguard International Explorer Fund (VINEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If investors are looking at the Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, make sure to pass over Vanguard International Explorer Fund (VINEX). VINEX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VINEX. The Vanguard International Explorer Fund made its debut in November of 1996 and VINEX has managed to accumulate roughly $1.80 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of -0.73%, and is in the bottom 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 1.18%, which places it in the bottom 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, VINEX's standard deviation comes in at 22.02%, compared to the category average of 22.16%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 19.6% compared to the category average of 19.28%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.03, so investors should note that it is hypothetically as volatile as 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -12.01. This means that 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, VINEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.40% compared to the category average of 1.15%. From a cost perspective, VINEX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard International Explorer Fund ( VINEX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well 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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