Technology

Is Berkshire Focus Fund (BFOCX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Have you been searching for a Large Cap Growth fund? You might want to begin with Berkshire Focus Fund (BFOCX). BFOCX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

BFOCX is part of the Large Cap Growth section, and this segment boasts an array of other possible options. Large Cap Growth mutual funds purchase stakes in numerous large U.S. companies that are expected to develop and grow at a faster rate than other large-cap stocks. Companies are usually considered to be large-cap if their market capitalization is over $10 billion.

History of Fund/Manager

Berkshire is based in Mikwaukee, WI, and is the manager of BFOCX. The Berkshire Focus Fund made its debut in July of 1997 and BFOCX has managed to accumulate roughly $550.83 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Malcolm R. Fobes III, has been in charge of the fund since July of 1997.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 23.28%, and it sits in the top 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 33.03%, 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 BFOCX over the past three years is 25.41% compared to the category average of 21.74%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 22.25% compared to the category average of 19.51%. 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 1.15, which means it is hypothetically more 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. BFOCX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 11.22, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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 largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 89.1% of its assets in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $236.53 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade

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, BFOCX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.95% compared to the category average of 1.05%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, BFOCX is actually more expensive than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $500.

Bottom Line

Overall, Berkshire Focus Fund ( BFOCX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on BFOCXin the Large Cap Growth 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 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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