Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth ETF

Fund Watch

Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth ETF

If you’re partial to huge firms with solid growth credentials, you’ll love this fund.

If it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then large-company growth stocks could bear fruit for a long time to come. Consider Apple, the nation’s quintessential growth stock. It has been a torrid performer, climbing 87% over the past year, and it is now the world’s largest company in terms of stock market capitalization.

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Apple’s ascent has helped boost Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the proxy for large-company stocks. Over the past 12 months through April 5, the index returned 7.3%. By contrast, the small-company Russell 2000 index fell 2.7%. Yet big-capitalization stocks still appear to be attractively priced. The average price-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 is 13, based on estimated 2012 profits, compared with a P/E of 20 for the Russell 2000.

All of which brings us to Vanguard Mega Cap 300 Growth ETF (symbol MGK) . This low-cost exchange-traded fund mimics the MSCI U.S. Large Cap Growth index, a subset of the MSCI U.S. Large Cap 300 index. MSCI evaluates the 300 biggest U.S. companies against five growth ratios (including earnings growth rates over both the long and short term) and three value measures (including yield). Those with pure growth or mostly growth attributes make it into the Large Cap Growth index. The final roster includes 176 companies. Apple, of course, tops the list.

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