Is Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you’ve been stuck searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, consider Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX) as a possibility. VASIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

VASIX finds itself in the Vanguard Group family, based out of Malvern, PA. Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund debuted in September of 1994. Since then, VASIX has accumulated assets of about $6.10 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund’s current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 5.48%, 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 7.72%, 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. Compared to the category average of 6.83%, the standard deviation of VASIX over the past three years is 4.6%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 4.01% compared to the category average of 5.59%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.2, the fund 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 positive alpha over the past 5 years of 0.89, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, VASIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.11% compared to the category average of 0.89%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VASIX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund ( VASIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund ( VASIX ) 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 VASIX to its peers 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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