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Is Oppenheimer Developing Markets A (ODMAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Non US - Equity fund seekers should not consider taking a look at Oppenheimer Developing Markets A (ODMAX) at this time. ODMAX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes ODMAX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

Oppenheimer is responsible for ODMAX, and the company is based out of Denver, CO. The Oppenheimer Developing Markets A made its debut in November of 1996 and ODMAX has managed to accumulate roughly $5.16 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Justin Leverenz who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2007.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 3.09%, and is in the bottom 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 12.84%, 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. ODMAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 12.78% compared to the category average of 9.54%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 13.63% compared to the category average of 9.29%. 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, ODMAX lost 57.31% and underperformed comparable funds by 1.09%. These results could imply that the fund is a worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.98, so investors should note that it is hypothetically as volatile as 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -8.95, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, ODMAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.28% compared to the category average of 1.28%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, ODMAX is actually on par with its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Oppenheimer Developing Markets A ( ODMAX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and on par fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Non US - Equity 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 ODMAX too 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.

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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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