Is Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Admiral (VEMAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

·3 min read

Investors in search of a Non US - Equity fund might want to consider looking at Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Admiral (VEMAX). While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.

Objective

We classify VEMAX in the Non US - Equity category, which is an area rife with potential choices. Investing in companies outside the United States is how Non US - Equity funds set themselves apart, since global funds tend to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. Many of these funds like to allocate across emerging and developed markets, and will often focus on all cap levels.

History of Fund/Manager

Vanguard Group is based in Malvern, PA, and is the manager of VEMAX. Since Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Admiral made its debut in June of 2006, VEMAX has garnered more than $18.24 billion in assets. The fund's current manager, Michael Perre, has been in charge of the fund since August of 2008.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. VEMAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 9.68% and is in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 10.35%, 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. VEMAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 18.82% compared to the category average of 15.43%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.23% compared to the category average of 12.78%. 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 0.79, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than 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. VEMAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -3.63, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, VEMAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.14% compared to the category average of 1.18%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, VEMAX 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

This could just be the start of your research on VEMAXin the Non US - Equity category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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