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Is SAMBX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

MF Bond Report for SAMBX

By
This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you're looking for a High Yield - Bonds fund category, then a potential option is Virtus Seix Floating Rate High Income I (SAMBX). SAMBX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

SAMBX is classified in the High Yield - Bonds segment by Zacks, an area full of investment possibilities. High Yield - Bonds funds come in below investment grade, and are referred to as " junk " bonds for this reason. Compared to their investment grade peers, these funds are at a higher default risk, but typically pay out higher yields while posing similar interest rate risks.

History of Fund/Manager

Virtus Funds is based in Hartford, CT, and is the manager of SAMBX. Since Virtus Seix Floating Rate High Income I made its debut in March of 2006, SAMBX has garnered more than $1.96 billion in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 3.68%, and it sits in the top 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 2.65%, 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 13.35%, the standard deviation of SAMBX over the past three years is 8.36%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 6.49% compared to the category average of 10.92%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

This fund has a beta of 0.09, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, SAMBX has a positive alpha of 2.64, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

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, SAMBX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.64% compared to the category average of 1%. SAMBX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $100,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Virtus Seix Floating Rate High Income I ( SAMBX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Virtus Seix Floating Rate High Income I ( SAMBX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the High Yield - Bonds, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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