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Is Pioneer Core Equity Fund A (PIOTX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for an All Cap Value fund? Starting with Pioneer Core Equity Fund A (PIOTX) is one possibility. PIOTX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We classify PIOTX in the All Cap Value category, an area rife with potential choices. Like the name suggests, MUTUAL FUNDS invest in small, medium, and large-cap companies, though they end up focusing on bigger firms due to percentage of assets. These funds look for key value characteristics, targeting stocks that boast low P/E ratios, high dividend yields, and whose share prices do not reflect their worth.

History of Fund/Manager

Pioneer Invstestments is responsible for PIOTX, and the company is based out of Canton, MA. The Pioneer Core Equity Fund A made its debut in September of 1969 and PIOTX has managed to accumulate roughly $1.52 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, John Peckham, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2012.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.82%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 10.21%, 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. Over the past three years, PIOTX's standard deviation comes in at 9.76%, compared to the category average of 9.08%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 10.62% compared to the category average of 9.28%. 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. PIOTX lost 59.15% in the most recent bear market and underperformed comparable funds by 10.2%. This might suggest that the fund is a worse choice than its peers during a bear market.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.02, which means 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. PIOTX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -2.26, which means 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 87.82% of its holdings in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $173.24 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance
  3. Industrial Cyclical

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, PIOTX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.89% compared to the category average of 1.15%. So, PIOTX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Pioneer Core Equity Fund A ( PIOTX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on PIOTXin the All Cap Value 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. 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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