Is MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I (MPEGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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

– Zacks

Objective

Zacks categorizes MPEGX as Mid Cap Growth, a segment packed with options. Mid Cap Growth mutual funds aim to target companies with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion that are also expected to exhibit more extensive growth opportunities for investors than their peers. A firm is typically considered to be a growth stock if it consistently posts impressive sales and/or earnings growth.

History of Fund/Manager

MorgStanley is based in New York, NY, and is the manager of MPEGX. MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I made its debut in March of 1990, and since then, MPEGX has accumulated about $2 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. 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 35.59%, and it sits in the top 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 38.71%, 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. MPEGX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 31.79% compared to the category average of 16.95%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 26.46% compared to the category average of 13.91%. 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. MPEGX has a 5-year beta of 1.09, which means it is likely to be more 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 17.07, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, MPEGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.66% compared to the category average of 1.17%. From a cost perspective, MPEGX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $5 million; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I ( MPEGX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Don’t stop here for your research on Mid Cap Growth 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 MPEGX 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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