Technology

Is PONPX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

There are plenty of choices in the Diversified Bonds category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is PIMCO Income P (PONPX). PONPX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Diversified Bonds funds is an area filled with options, such as PONPX. Investors looking for exposure to a variety of fixed income types that stretch across issuers, maturities, and credit levels will find a good fit with Diversified Bonds funds. Typically, these funds have a solid amount of exposure to government debt, as well as modest holdings in the corporate bond market.

History of Fund/Manager

PONPX is a part of the PIMCO Funds family of funds, a company based out of Newport Beach, CA. The PIMCO Income P made its debut in May of 2008 and PONPX has managed to accumulate roughly $31.65 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. PONPX has a 5-year annualized total return of 5.1% and is in the top 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 3.36%, 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 PONPX over the past three years is 5.53% compared to the category average of 12.92%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 4.51% compared to the category average of 11.21%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

With a beta of 0.49, this fund is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, PONPX has a positive alpha of 2.99, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Ratings

Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, PONPX has 24.14% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher, while 37.14% are of medium quality, with ratings of 'A' to 'BBB'. The fund's junk bond component-bonds rated 'BB' or below-is at 35.04%, giving PONPX an average quality of BBB. This means that it focuses on medium quality securities.

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, PONPX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.60% compared to the category average of 0.89%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, PONPX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, PIMCO Income P ( PONPX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, better 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 PONPXin the Diversified Bonds 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.

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