Is Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Large Cap Blend fund seekers should consider taking a look at Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX). MPGFX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

MPGFX is part of the Large Cap Blend section, an area that boasts an array of many possible options. Large Cap Blend mutual funds most often invest in firms with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more. By investing in bigger companies, these funds offer more stability, and are often well-suited for investors with a ” buy and hold ” mindset. Blended funds mix large, established companies into their holdings, which gives investors exposure to both value and growth at the same time.

History of Fund/Manager

Mairs & Power is responsible for MPGFX, and the company is based out of St. Paul, MN. The Mairs & Power Growth Fund made its debut in November of 1958 and MPGFX has managed to accumulate roughly $5.43 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund’s current manager, Andrew R. Adams, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2015.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 15.08%, and it sits in the middle 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 19.46%, 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. MPGFX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 17.97% compared to the category average of 19.02%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 14.73% compared to the category average of 15.53%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.95, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. MPGFX’s 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -1.18, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 92.77% of its assets in stocks and it has 7.2% of assets in foreign securities. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Industrial Cyclical

  3. Finance

  4. Health

Turnover is 14.52%, which means, on average, the fund makes fewer trades than comparable funds.

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, MPGFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.64% compared to the category average of 0.95%. MPGFX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Mairs & Power Growth Fund ( MPGFX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

Don’t stop here for your research on Large Cap Blend funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare MPGFX to its peers 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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