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Is Nuveen International Growth A (NBQAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for NBQAX

This story originally appeared on Zacks

If investors are looking at the Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, make sure to pass over Nuveen International Growth A (NBQAX). NBQAX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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History of Fund/Manager

NBQAX is a part of the Nuveen family of funds, a company based out of Chicago, IL. Nuveen International Growth A made its debut in June of 2010, and since then, NBQAX has accumulated about $51.35 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. Joseph O'Flaherty is the fund's current manager and has held that role since October of 2017.


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 10.71%, and is in the bottom 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 14.87%, which places it in the bottom 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, NBQAX's standard deviation comes in at 17.71%, compared to the category average of 15.37%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 16.75% compared to the category average of 13.15%. 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 0.94, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. 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. NBQAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -5.38, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


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, NBQAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.05% compared to the category average of 1.18%. So, NBQAX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $3,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Nuveen International Growth A ( NBQAX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on NBQAXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well 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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