Technology

Is Scout Mid Cap Fund (UMBMX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you have been looking for Mid Cap Growth fund category, a potential starting could be Scout Mid Cap Fund (UMBMX). UMBMX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

UMBMX is part of the Mid Cap Growth section, a segment that boasts a wide array of possible selections. While Mid Cap Growth mutual funds choose companies with a stock market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion, stocks in these funds are also expected to show broad considerable growth opportunities for investors compared to their peers. To be considered a growth stock, companies must consistently report impressive sales and/or earnings growth.

History of Fund/Manager

Eagle Funds is based in St. Petersburg, FL, and is the manager of UMBMX. Scout Mid Cap Fund debuted in November of 2006. Since then, UMBMX has accumulated assets of about $2.57 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

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 11.62%, and is 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 6.99%, 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. The standard deviation of UMBMX over the past three years is 20.52% compared to the category average of 21.23%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 17.04% compared to the category average of 18.14%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.08, so it is likely going to be more volatile than the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -2.94, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, UMBMX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.99% compared to the category average of 1.20%. UMBMX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $10,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Scout Mid Cap Fund ( UMBMX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Scout Mid Cap Fund ( UMBMX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about UMBMX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis 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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