Is Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should consider taking a look at Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX). VASGX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VASGX. Since Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund made its debut in September of 1994, VASGX has garnered more than $17.67 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by William A. Coleman who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2022.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.64%, and is 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 3.06%, 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 17.34%, the standard deviation of VASGX over the past three years is 17.14%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 14.9% compared to the category average of 15.11%. This makes the fund less 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. VASGX has a 5-year beta of 0.78, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. VASGX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -2.95, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, VASGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.14% compared to the category average of 0.86%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VASGX 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 LifeStrategy Growth Fund ( VASGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund ( VASGX ) looks like a good potential 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. 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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