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Is Putnam Global Technology A (PGTAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for PGTAX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

There are plenty of choices in the Sector - Tech category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Putnam Global Technology A (PGTAX). PGTAX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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Objective

We note that PGTAX is a Sector - Tech option, and this area is loaded with many options. Found in a wide number of industries such as semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, tech companies are everywhere. Thus, Sector - Tech mutual funds that invest in technology let investors own a stake in a notoriously volatile sector, but with a much more diversifies approach.

History of Fund/Manager

Putnam Funds is responsible for PGTAX, and the company is based out of Canton, MA. Putnam Global Technology A debuted in January of 2009. Since then, PGTAX has accumulated assets of about $540.76 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Di Yao, has been in charge of the fund since December of 2012.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 31.99%, 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 31.05%, 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. PGTAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 22.38% compared to the category average of 16.73%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 18.52% compared to the category average of 13.85%. 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 0.99, so it is likely going to be as volatile as 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a positive alpha of 13.37. This means that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

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, PGTAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.54% compared to the category average of 1.35%. From a cost perspective, PGTAX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $500; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Putnam Global Technology A ( PGTAX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Sector - Tech segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.



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