Technology

Is USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Looking for a Global - Equity fund? You may want to consider USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX) as a possible option. USAWX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

USAWX is classified in the Global - Equity segment by Zacks, an area full of possibilities. Even though Global - Equity mutual funds invest in bigger markets like the U.S., Europe, and Japan, these kinds of funds aren't limited by geography. Rather, they offer an investment strategy that utilizes the global economy to provide stable returns.

History of Fund/Manager

Victory is based in Columbus, OH, and is the manager of USAWX. USAA World Growth Fund made its debut in October of 1992, and since then, USAWX has accumulated about $1.52 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. 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. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 14.85%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 16.39%, 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. Over the past three years, USAWX's standard deviation comes in at 17.48%, compared to the category average of 16.2%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.29% compared to the category average of 13.36%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. USAWX has a 5-year beta of 0.91, which means it 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. USAWX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.12, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, USAWX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.07% compared to the category average of 1.13%. From a cost perspective, USAWX 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 World Growth Fund ( USAWX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, USAA World Growth Fund ( USAWX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Global - Equity area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into USAWX too 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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