Technology

Is Pioneer Flexible Opportunities A (PMARX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If investors are looking at the Allocation Balanced fund category, Pioneer Flexible Opportunities A (PMARX) could be a potential option. PMARX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

PMARX is one of many Zacks' Allocation Balanced mutual funds to pick from. Allocation Balanced funds seek to invest in a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. Investors utilize Allocation Balanced funds as a way to get a good start with diversified mutual funds, as well as for core holdings in a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

Pioneer Invstestments is based in Canton, MA, and is the manager of PMARX. Since Pioneer Flexible Opportunities A made its debut in May of 2010, PMARX has garnered more than $101.54 million in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. PMARX has a 5-year annualized total return of 4.96% and is 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 6.04%, 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. PMARX's standard deviation over the past three years is 10.38% compared to the category average of 8.77%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 10.44% compared to the category average of 8.99%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 0.69, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. PMARX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -2.8, demonstrating 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, PMARX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.19% compared to the category average of 0.89%. PMARX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Pioneer Flexible Opportunities A ( PMARX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, Pioneer Flexible Opportunities A ( PMARX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on PMARXin the Allocation Balanced 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. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.


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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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