Technology

Is MassMutual Select Growth Opportunity A (MMAAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Looking for a Large Cap Growth fund? You may want to consider MassMutual Select Growth Opportunity A (MMAAX) as a possible option. MMAAX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

MMAAX is classified in the Large Cap Growth segment by Zacks, an area full of possibilities. Companies are usually considered to be large-cap if their stock market valuation is more than $10 billion. Large Cap Growth mutual funds invest in many large U.S. firms that are projected to grow at a faster rate than their large-cap peers.

History of Fund/Manager

MassMutual is based in Springfield, MA, and is the manager of MMAAX. MassMutual Select Growth Opportunity A made its debut in October of 2000, and since then, MMAAX has accumulated about $42.48 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 9.79%, and is in the middle third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 16.4%, 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. Over the past three years, MMAAX's standard deviation comes in at 14.91%, compared to the category average of 10.25%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.95% compared to the category average of 10.22%. 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 MMAAX's case, the fund lost 53.13% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 4%. This means that the fund could possibly be a worse choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.11, 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. MMAAX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -1.6, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Investigating 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.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 95.36% of its assets in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $184.14 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade
  3. 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, MMAAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.30% compared to the category average of 1.08%. So, MMAAX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, MassMutual Select Growth Opportunity A ( MMAAX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about MMAAX? 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. 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.

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