Is Hartford Growth Opportunities A (HGOAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

On the lookout for a Mid Cap Growth fund? Starting with Hartford Growth Opportunities A (HGOAX) should not be a possibility at this time. HGOAX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that HGOAX is a Mid Cap Growth fund, and this area is also loaded with many different options. Companies are usually considered growth stocks when they consistently report notable sales and/or earnings growth. Thus, Mid Cap Growth funds pick stocks--usually companies with a market cap between $2 billion and $10 billion--that demonstrate extensive growth opportunities for investors compared to their peers.

History of Fund/Manager

HGOAX finds itself in the Hartford family, based out of Woodbury, MN. Hartford Growth Opportunities A debuted in March of 1963. Since then, HGOAX has accumulated assets of about $2.83 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Mario Abularach who has been in charge of the fund since March of 2006.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. HGOAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.28% and it sits in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 3.49%, which places it in the bottom third during this time-frame.

It is important to note that the product's returns may not reflect all its expenses. Any fees not reflected would lower the returns. Total returns do not reflect the fund's [%] sale charge. If sales charges were included, total returns would have been lower.

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, HGOAX's standard deviation comes in at 23.82%, compared to the category average of 15.02%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 23.47% compared to the category average of 15.85%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.14, so investors should note that 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. HGOAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.51, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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.

The mutual fund currently has 78.81% of its holdings in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $460.62 billion. This fund's turnover is about 88%, so the fund managers are making more traders than comparable funds in a given year.

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, HGOAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.09% compared to the category average of 0.96%. So, HGOAX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $2,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Fees charged by investment advisors have not been taken into considiration. Returns would be less if those were included.

Bottom Line

Overall, Hartford Growth Opportunities A ( HGOAX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, Hartford Growth Opportunities A ( HGOAX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about HGOAX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.

Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double"

From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all.

It’s an American AI company that’s riding low right now, but it has rounded up clients like BMW, GE, Dell Computer, and Bosch. It has prospects for not just doubling but quadrupling in the year to come. Of course, all our picks aren’t winners but this one could far surpass earlier Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.

Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners Up

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Get Your Free (HGOAX): Fund Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

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

Tags

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.