Technology

Is Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you're looking for a Large Cap Blend fund category, then a potential option is Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX). MPGFX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that MPGFX is a Large Cap Blend option, an area loaded with different options. More often than not, Large Cap Blend mutual funds invest in companies with a market cap of over $10 billion. Buying stakes in bigger companies offer these funds more stability, and are well-suited for investors with a " buy and hold " mindset. Additionally, blended funds mix large, more established firms into their portfolios, giving investors exposure to value and growth opportunities.

History of Fund/Manager

Mairs & Power is responsible for MPGFX, and the company is based out of St. Paul, MN. Mairs & Power Growth Fund debuted in November of 1958. Since then, MPGFX has accumulated assets of about $4.44 billion, according to the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.01%, and it sits in the middle 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 12.37%, which places it in the middle 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 MPGFX over the past three years is 12.48% compared to the category average of 12.31%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 12.02% compared to the category average of 12.09%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, MPGFX lost 44.88% and outperformed its peer group by 5%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.95, so investors should note that it is hypothetically less 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. MPGFX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.12, demonstrating that 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 largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 85.25% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $157.05 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Industrial Cyclical
  2. Technology
  3. Health
  4. Finance
  5. Non-Durable

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, MPGFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.65% compared to the category average of 1.03%. So, MPGFX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $2,500, and each subsequent investment should be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Mairs & Power Growth Fund ( MPGFX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on MPGFXin the Large Cap Blend 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 are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


Click to get this free report

Get Your Free (MPGFX): Fund Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

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

Latest Technology Videos

Sundar Pichai's Google Move Will Increase Visibility, Techonomy's Kirkpatrick Says

David Kirkpatrick, chief executive officer and founder of Techonomy Media, discusses the decision by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to make Sundar Pichai chief executive officer of both Google and its holding company Alphabet Inc.

3 days ago