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Is ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor (BIPIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for BIPIX

This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you have been looking for Sector - Health funds, it would not be wise to start your search with ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor (BIPIX). BIPIX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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The world of Sector - Health funds is an area filled with options, such as BIPIX. Healthcare is one of the biggest sectors of the American economy, and Sector - Health mutual funds provide a great opportunity to invest in this industry. Here, funds can include everything from for-profit hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

History of Fund/Manager

ProFunds is responsible for BIPIX, and the company is based out of Columbus, OH. The ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor made its debut in June of 2000 and BIPIX has managed to accumulate roughly $157.05 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Michael Neches who has been in charge of the fund since October of 2013.


Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. BIPIX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.6% and it sits in the middle 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 16.27%, 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. Over the past three years, BIPIX's standard deviation comes in at 30.23%, compared to the category average of 26.55%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 28.46% compared to the category average of 22.22%. This makes the fund more 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. BIPIX has a 5-year beta of 1.25, which means it is likely to be more 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. BIPIX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -3.56, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, BIPIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.61% compared to the category average of 1.32%. From a cost perspective, BIPIX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $15,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor ( BIPIX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Sector - Health area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into BIPIX too 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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