Markets

Is Dreyfus/Boston Small Cap Growth I (SSETX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Small Cap Growth fund? Dreyfus/Boston Small Cap Growth I (SSETX) is a potential starting point. SSETX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Small Cap Growth funds is an area filled with options, such as SSETX. These funds tend to create their portfolios around stocks that sport large growth opportunities and market capitalization of less than $2 billion. The companies in these portfolios are usually on the smaller side, and are in up-and-coming industries and markets.

History of Fund/Manager

SSETX is a part of the Dreyfus Premier family of funds, a company based out of New York, NY. The Dreyfus/Boston Small Cap Growth I made its debut in December of 1996 and SSETX has managed to accumulate roughly $6.22 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 10.39%, and is 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 13.76%, 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. Over the past three years, SSETX's standard deviation comes in at 16.28%, compared to the category average of 13.74%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 16.21% compared to the category average of 13.75%. 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, SSETX lost 50.89% and underperformed comparable funds by 2.26%. These results could imply that the fund is a 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. SSETX has a 5-year beta of 1.19, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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. SSETX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -2.06, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining 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.

The mutual fund currently has 93.53% of its holdings in stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $3.49 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Health
  3. Other
  4. Industrial Cyclical

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, SSETX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1% compared to the category average of 1.31%. So, SSETX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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, Dreyfus/Boston Small Cap Growth I ( SSETX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Small Cap Growth 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 SSETX 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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