Is Schwab MarketTrack Allocation Equity Portfolio (SWEGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you’re looking for an Allocation Balanced fund category, then a potential option is Schwab MarketTrack Allocation Equity Portfolio (SWEGX). SWEGX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Load Error

Objective

SWEGX is classified in the Allocation Balanced segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Here, investors are able to get a good head start with diversified mutual funds, and play around with core holding options for a portfolio of funds. Allocation Balanced funds look to invest across a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation.

History of Fund/Manager

Schwab Funds is responsible for SWEGX, and the company is based out of San Francisco, CA. Schwab MarketTrack Allocation Equity Portfolio made its debut in May of 1998, and since then, SWEGX has accumulated about $814 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Zifan Tang who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2012.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 13.16%, 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 11.99%, 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. Compared to the category average of 18.58%, the standard deviation of SWEGX over the past three years is 19.75%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 15.76% compared to the category average of 14.89%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.02, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -3.8, which shows 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, SWEGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.39% compared to the category average of 0.89%. From a cost perspective, SWEGX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Schwab MarketTrack Allocation Equity Portfolio ( SWEGX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about SWEGX? 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. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio – both funds and stocks – in the most efficient way possible.

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