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Is Mairs & Power Balanced Fund (MAPOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for MAPOX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, a place to start could be Mairs & Power Balanced Fund (MAPOX). MAPOX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Mairs & Power is responsible for MAPOX, and the company is based out of St. Paul, MN. The Mairs & Power Balanced Fund made its debut in December of 1961 and MAPOX has managed to accumulate roughly $999 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Kevin Earley, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2015.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. MAPOX has a 5-year annualized total return of 10.77% and is 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 12.68%, 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. MAPOX's standard deviation over the past three years is 12.37% compared to the category average of 13.09%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 10.44% compared to the category average of 10.59%. 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. MAPOX has a 5-year beta of 0.66, 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. MAPOX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.17, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, MAPOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared to the category average of 0.89%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, MAPOX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Mairs & Power Balanced Fund ( MAPOX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Mutual Fund Equity Report, 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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