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Is MassMutual Select Small Cap Growth Equity R5 (MSGSX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for MSGSX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Small Cap Growth fund seekers should consider taking a look at MassMutual Select Small Cap Growth Equity R5 (MSGSX). MSGSX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

Objective

The world of Small Cap Growth funds is an area filled with options, such as MSGSX. These funds tend to create their portfolios around stocks that sport large growth opportunities and market capitalization of less than $2 billion. The companies in these portfolios are usually on the smaller side, and are in up-and-coming industries and markets.

History of Fund/Manager

MassMutual is based in Springfield, MA, and is the manager of MSGSX. Since MassMutual Select Small Cap Growth Equity R5 made its debut in May of 1999, MSGSX has garnered more than $165.26 million in assets. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 20.91%, and is in the middle third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 17.99%, 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. MSGSX's standard deviation over the past three years is 24.42% compared to the category average of 16.48%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 19.87% compared to the category average of 13.6%. 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. MSGSX has a 5-year beta of 1.17, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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. MSGSX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 0.5, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

This fund is currently holding about 90.21% stock in stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $5.40 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Health
  3. Industrial Cyclical

With turnover at about 80%, this fund is making fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, MSGSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.95% compared to the category average of 1.21%. So, MSGSX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, MassMutual Select Small Cap Growth Equity R5 ( MSGSX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, MassMutual Select Small Cap Growth Equity R5 ( MSGSX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Small Cap Growth funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare MSGSX to its peers as well 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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