Is Ivy Small Cap Growth Y (WSCYX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

On the lookout for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Starting with Ivy Small Cap Growth Y (WSCYX) should not be a possibility at this time. WSCYX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

– Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Delaware Investments is based in Philadelphia, PA, and is the manager of WSCYX. The Ivy Small Cap Growth Y made its debut in December of 1995 and WSCYX has managed to accumulate roughly $135 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Timothy J. Miller who has been in charge of the fund since April of 2010.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 15.68%, and is in the middle 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 15.27%, which places it in the bottom 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. The standard deviation of WSCYX over the past three years is 23.75% compared to the category average of 16.42%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 19.93% compared to the category average of 13.56%. 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. WSCYX has a 5-year beta of 1.11, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. WSCYX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -2.88, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Investigating 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

This fund is currently holding about 78.92% stock in stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $5.54 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Other
  3. Health
  4. Industrial Cyclical

Turnover is about 57%, so those in charge of the fund make fewer trades than comparable funds.

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, WSCYX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.26% compared to the category average of 1.21%. So, WSCYX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Ivy Small Cap Growth Y ( WSCYX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don’t stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Equity Report 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 WSCYX to its peers as well for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.

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