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Is USAA Aggressive Growth Fund (USAUX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for an All Cap Growth fund? Starting with USAA Aggressive Growth Fund USAUX is one possibility. USAUX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

USAUX is part of the All Cap Growth category, which is a segment that boasts an array of other possible options. All Cap Growth mutual funds aim to invest in various equity securities, regardless of company size that exhibit growth characteristics. These portfolios have holdings across the cap levels-- small, medium and large-cap-- in order to increase diversification throughout the fund.

History of Fund/Manager

USAA Group is responsible for USAUX, and the company is based out of San Antonio, TX. USAA Aggressive Growth Fund made its debut in October of 1981, and since then, USAUX has accumulated about $1.56 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 14.47%, and is in the top 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 12.89%, 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. USAUX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.44% compared to the category average of 10.63%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 10.96% compared to the category average of 10.32%. 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. USAUX lost 52.56% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 1.14%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. USAUX has a 5-year beta of 1.03, which means it is likely to be as volatile as the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a positive alpha of 0.96. This means that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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 primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

Right now, 92.33% of this mutual fund's holdings are stocks, with an average market capitalization of $226.96 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance
  3. Industrial Cyclical

Turnover is 46%, which means, on average, the fund makes fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, USAUX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.77% compared to the category average of 1.10%. From a cost perspective, USAUX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, USAA Aggressive Growth Fund 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.

Your research on the All Cap Growth 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. 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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