Technology

Is Dreyfus Small Cap Stock Index Investor (DISSX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Have you been searching for an Index fund? You might want to begin with Dreyfus Small Cap Stock Index Investor (DISSX). While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

DISSX is a part of the Dreyfus Premier family of funds, a company based out of New York, NY. Dreyfus Small Cap Stock Index Investor made its debut in June of 1997, and since then, DISSX has accumulated about $1.92 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. DISSX has a 5-year annualized total return of 7.32% 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 8.94%, 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 DISSX over the past three years is 17.54% compared to the category average of 8.24%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.42% compared to the category average of 9.08%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. In the most recent bear market, DISSX lost 51.03% and underperformed its peer group by 5.3%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.15, so investors should note that it is hypothetically 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -2.85. This means 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, DISSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.50% compared to the category average of 0.76%. So, DISSX 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

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Index, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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.