Is American Century International Opportunity Institutional (ACIOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Non US - Equity fund? American Century International Opportunity Institutional (ACIOX) is a possible starting point. ACIOX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.


We classify ACIOX in the Non US - Equity category, which is an area rife with potential choices. Investing in companies outside the United States is how Non US - Equity funds set themselves apart, since global funds tend to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. Many of these funds like to allocate across emerging and developed markets, and will often focus on all cap levels.

History of Fund/Manager

American Century is responsible for ACIOX, and the company is based out of Kansas City, MO. Since American Century International Opportunity Institutional made its debut in January of 2003, ACIOX has garnered more than $72.95 million in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.


Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. ACIOX has a 5-year annualized total return of 5.61% and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 5.82%, 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 ACIOX over the past three years is 15.18% compared to the category average of 10.27%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 13.82% compared to the category average of 10.53%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. In ACIOX's case, the fund lost 64.47% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 6%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. ACIOX has a 5-year beta of 0.87, 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -3.26. This means 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, ACIOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.29% compared to the category average of 1.24%. From a cost perspective, ACIOX is actually more expensive than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5 million, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Century International Opportunity Institutional ( ACIOX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, American Century International Opportunity Institutional ( ACIOX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

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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.