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Is Schwab MarketTrack Growth Investor (SWHGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for SWHGX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Equity Report category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that you should consider investigating is Schwab MarketTrack Growth Investor (SWHGX). SWHGX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Schwab Funds is based in San Francisco, CA, and is the manager of SWHGX. Schwab MarketTrack Growth Investor made its debut in November of 1995, and since then, SWHGX has accumulated about $929 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Zifan Tang who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2012.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 11.14%, and is 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 12.93%, 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. The standard deviation of SWHGX over the past three years is 15.71% compared to the category average of 15.92%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 12.93% compared to the category average of 12.84%. 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 0.82, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. 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. SWHGX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -3.24, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, SWHGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.39% compared to the category average of 0.89%. SWHGX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Schwab MarketTrack Growth Investor ( SWHGX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Equity Report area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into SWHGX too for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.



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