There are plenty of choices in the Allocation Balanced category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Value Line Income & Growth Investor (VALIX). VALIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Zacks’ Allocation Balanced funds is an area filled with options, such as VALIX. These funds like to invest in a variety of asset types, finding a balance between stocks, bonds, cash, and sometimes even precious metals and commodities; they are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. For investors, Allocation Balanced funds can provide an entry point into diversified mutual funds, and present core holding options for a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

VALIX is a part of the Value Line family of funds, a company based out of New York, NY. Value Line Income & Growth Investor made its debut in October of 1952, and since then, VALIX has accumulated about $548.21 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund’s current manager, Liane Rosenberg, has been in charge of the fund since May of 2011.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 16.15%, and it sits in the top 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 15.03%, 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. The standard deviation of VALIX over the past three years is 20.58% compared to the category average of 15.35%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 16.49% compared to the category average of 12.54%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.97, the fund is likely to be as volatile as 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. VALIX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.01, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 86.31% stock in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $265.34 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

> Technology

Other

Services

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, VALIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.03% compared to the category average of 0.89%. So, VALIX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $1,000, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.Bottom LineOverall, Value Line Income & Growth Investor ( VALIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.Want even more information about VALIX? 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. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human […]

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