Is Dreyfus Technology Growth A (DTGRX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you’ve been stuck searching for Sector – Tech funds, you might want to consider passing on by Dreyfus Technology Growth A (DTGRX) as a possibility. DTGRX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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Objective

DTGRX is part of the Sector – Tech category, which boasts an array of different possible selections. With a much more diversified approach, Sector – Tech mutual funds give investors a way to own a stake in a notoriously risky sector. Tech companies are in various industries like semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, among others.

History of Fund/Manager

BNY Mellon is based in New York, NY, and is the manager of DTGRX. Dreyfus Technology Growth A debuted in October of 1997. Since then, DTGRX has accumulated assets of about $434.65 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Erik A. Swords who has been in charge of the fund since December of 2008.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. DTGRX has a 5-year annualized total return of 25.82% 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 23.43%, 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 17.98%, the standard deviation of DTGRX over the past three years is 24.1%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 20.19% compared to the category average of 14.98%. 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 1.11, so it is likely going to be 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. DTGRX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 6.84, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining 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.

Right now, 77.21% of this mutual fund’s holdings are stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $335.91 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade

With turnover at about 81.82%, this fund is making fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, DTGRX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.16% compared to the category average of 1.35%. From a cost perspective, DTGRX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Dreyfus Technology Growth A ( DTGRX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Dreyfus Technology Growth A ( DTGRX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Sector – Tech, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.

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