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Is Artisan International Fund Investor (ARTIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Non US - Equity fund seekers should consider taking a look at Artisan International Fund Investor (ARTIX). ARTIX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes ARTIX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

Artisan Funds is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of ARTIX. Since Artisan International Fund Investor made its debut in December of 1995, ARTIX has garnered more than $4.73 billion in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

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 2.21%, 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 6.72%, 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. ARTIX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.52% compared to the category average of 9.98%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 12.03% compared to the category average of 10.49%. 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 the most recent bear market, ARTIX lost 58.51% and underperformed comparable funds by 0.06%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. ARTIX has a 5-year beta of 0.81, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. ARTIX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -5.17, which means 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, ARTIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.18% compared to the category average of 1.20%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, ARTIX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $1,000, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Artisan International Fund Investor ( ARTIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

For additional information on the Non US - Equity 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 ARTIX too for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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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.