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Is Parnassus Core Equity Fund (PRBLX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for PRBLX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

There are plenty of choices in the Large Cap Value category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Parnassus Core Equity Fund (PRBLX). PRBLX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

Large Cap Value mutual funds invest in stocks with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, but whose share prices do not reflect their intrinsic value; this value investing strategy often leads to low P/E ratios and high dividend yields, though growth levels are often curtailed. The high-growth opportunity of these funds are slowed even further, as large-cap securities are generally in stable industries with low to moderate growth prospects. Therefore, Large Cap Value funds are usually more appealing to investors who are interested in a stable income stream.

History of Fund/Manager

PRBLX is a part of the Parnassus family of funds, a company based out of San Francisco, CA. The Parnassus Core Equity Fund made its debut in September of 1992 and PRBLX has managed to accumulate roughly $14.79 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Todd C. Ahlsten who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2001.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 18.09%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 20.51%, 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. Compared to the category average of 17.08%, the standard deviation of PRBLX over the past three years is 16.3%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.34% compared to the category average of 14%. This makes the fund less 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. PRBLX has a 5-year beta of 0.87, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. With a positive alpha of 2.1, managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, PRBLX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.82% compared to the category average of 1%. So, PRBLX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, Parnassus Core Equity Fund ( PRBLX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Parnassus Core Equity Fund ( PRBLX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on PRBLXin the Large Cap Value category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.



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