Is ProFunds Semicond UltraSector Investor (SMPIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, a place to start could be ProFunds Semicond UltraSector Investor (SMPIX). SMPIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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History of Fund/Manager

ProFunds is based in Columbus, OH, and is the manager of SMPIX. ProFunds Semicond UltraSector Investor made its debut in June of 2000, and since then, SMPIX has accumulated about $79.84 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund’s current manager, Michael Neches, has been in charge of the fund since October of 2013.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. SMPIX has a 5-year annualized total return of 42.7% and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 55.07%, 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. Over the past three years, SMPIX’s standard deviation comes in at 34.71%, compared to the category average of 26.77%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 32.22% compared to the category average of 22.42%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1.7, the fund 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 10.87, 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, SMPIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.58% compared to the category average of 1.35%. SMPIX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $15,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, ProFunds Semicond UltraSector Investor ( SMPIX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report 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. 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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