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Is ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor (BIPIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Any investors hoping to find a Sector - Health fund might consider looking past ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor BIPIX . BIPIX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Sector - Health funds is an area filled with options, such as BIPIX. Healthcare is one of the biggest sectors of the American economy, and Sector - Health mutual funds provide a great opportunity to invest in this industry. Here, funds can include everything from for-profit hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

History of Fund/Manager

BIPIX is a part of the ProFunds family of funds, a company based out of Columbus, OH. Since ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor made its debut in June of 2000, BIPIX has garnered more than $306.40 million in assets. The fund's current manager, Michael Neches, has been in charge of the fund since October of 2013.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 14.64%, 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 -3.09%, 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, BIPIX's standard deviation comes in at 32.16%, compared to the category average of 13.01%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 28.95% compared to the category average of 12.46%. 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. BIPIX lost 28.69% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 4.19%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.9, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more volatile than 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. BIPIX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -5.82, 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, BIPIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.45% compared to the category average of 1.31%. So, BIPIX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $15,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, ProFunds Biotech Ultra Sector Investor looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Sector - Health segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well 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.


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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