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Is Vanguard Horizon Fund, Vanguard Global Equity Fund (VHGEX) 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 may not be worth investigating is Vanguard Horizon Fund, Vanguard Global Equity Fund (VHGEX). VHGEX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

VHGEX is a part of the Vanguard Group family of funds, a company based out of Malvern, PA. Since Vanguard Horizon Fund, Vanguard Global Equity Fund made its debut in August of 1995, VHGEX has garnered more than $7.38 billion in assets. 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 7.44%, and it sits in the middle 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 6.95%, which places it in the middle 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 18.96%, the standard deviation of VHGEX over the past three years is 19.03%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 16.94% compared to the category average of 16.92%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. VHGEX has a 5-year beta of 0.94, 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -4.1, which shows 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, VHGEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.41% compared to the category average of 1.11%. From a cost perspective, VHGEX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $3,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $1.

Bottom Line

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

Want even more information about VHGEX? 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. 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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