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Is Dodge & Cox International Stock (DODFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Non US - Equity fund? Starting with Dodge & Cox International Stock DODFX should not be a possibility at this time. DODFX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

DODFX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

DODFX finds itself in the Dodge & Cox family, based out of Boston, MA. Since Dodge & Cox International Stock made its debut in May of 2001, DODFX has garnered more than $65.67 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 5.57%, 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 4.24%, 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. The standard deviation of DODFX over the past three years is 15.16% compared to the category average of 12.9%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.76% compared to the category average of 12.5%. 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 DODFX's case, the fund lost 59.93% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 1.53%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.11, so it is likely going to be more volatile than the market at large. 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. DODFX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -7.58, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, DODFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.63% compared to the category average of 1.28%. So, DODFX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Dodge & Cox International Stock has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

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


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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