Looking for a Small Cap Growth fund? You may want to consider Wasatch Core Growth Fund (WGROX) as a possible option. WGROX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.
WGROX is part of the Small Cap Growth category, and this segment boasts an array of many other possible options. Small Cap Growth mutual funds usually focus their portfolios on stocks with large growth opportunities and a market cap of under $2 billion. These portfolios tend to feature small companies in up-and-coming industries and markets.
History of Fund/Manager
Wasatch is responsible for WGROX, and the company is based out of Salt Lake City, UT. Wasatch Core Growth Fund debuted in November of 1986. Since then, WGROX has accumulated assets of about $2.17 billion, according to the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund’s current manager.
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 20.75%, and is 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 19.22%, 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. WGROX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 24.42% compared to the category average of 20.34%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 19.67% compared to the category average of 16.74%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.
The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.16, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more volatile than the market at large. 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. WGROX’s 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 1.58, which means managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.
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 largely on equities that are traded in the United States.
Currently, this mutual fund is holding 77.85% stock in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $6.45 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:
With turnover at about 36%, this fund makes fewer trades than comparable funds.
As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, WGROX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.17% compared to the category average of 1.21%. From a cost perspective, WGROX is actually cheaper than its peers.
Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.
Overall, Wasatch Core Growth Fund ( WGROX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Wasatch Core Growth Fund ( WGROX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.
Your research on the Small 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. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.
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