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Is Schwab Global Real Estate (SWASX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for SWASX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Having trouble finding a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Well, Schwab Global Real Estate (SWASX) would not be a good potential starting point right now. SWASX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), 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 SWASX. The Schwab Global Real Estate made its debut in May of 2007 and SWASX has managed to accumulate roughly $329 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Wei Li who has been in charge of the fund since March of 2013.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. SWASX has a 5-year annualized total return of 7.66% and it sits 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 8%, 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. Over the past three years, SWASX's standard deviation comes in at 20.58%, compared to the category average of 18.86%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.78% compared to the category average of 15.55%. 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. SWASX has a 5-year beta of 0.89, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. SWASX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -6.73, 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, SWASX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.05% compared to the category average of 1.22%. So, SWASX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Schwab Global Real Estate ( SWASX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak 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. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.



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