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Is Pioneer Select Mid Cap Growth A (PGOFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?


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Looking for a Small Cap Blend fund? You may want to consider Pioneer Select Mid Cap Growth A (PGOFX) as a possible option. PGOFX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

PGOFX is one of many Small Cap Blend funds to choose from. Small Cap Blend mutual funds allow investors a way to diversify their funds among various types of small-cap stocks. These funds seek companies with market capitalization of less than $2 billion, and aid in reducing volatility inherent in lower market cap stocks.

History of Fund/Manager

Pioneer Invstestments is based in Canton, MA, and is the manager of PGOFX. Pioneer Select Mid Cap Growth A debuted in January of 1968. Since then, PGOFX has accumulated assets of about $1.24 billion, according to the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 11.82%, 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 17.45%, 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. The standard deviation of PGOFX over the past three years is 14.36% compared to the category average of 9.78%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 14.15% compared to the category average of 10.11%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, PGOFX lost 49.06% and outperformed its peer group by 2.4%. This could mean that the fund is a better choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.15, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more 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. PGOFX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.06, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring 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 primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 94.22% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $17.60 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Services
  3. Retail Trade
  4. Non-Durable
Turnover is 82%, which means this fund makes more trades per year than the comparable average.

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, PGOFX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.02% compared to the category average of 1.18%. From a cost perspective, PGOFX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Pioneer Select Mid Cap Growth A ( PGOFX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

This could just be the start of your research on PGOFXin the Small Cap Blend category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.





This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: PGOFX



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