Is T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth I (TBCIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers may want to consider taking a look at T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth I (TBCIX). TBCIX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

– Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

T. Rowe Price is responsible for TBCIX, and the company is based out of Baltimore, MD. Since T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth I made its debut in December of 2015, TBCIX has garnered more than $37.83 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by Larry J. Puglia who has been in charge of the fund since December of 2015.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 23.67%, 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 23.79%, which places it in the middle 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 16.01%, the standard deviation of TBCIX over the past three years is 19.14%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.65% compared to the category average of 13.59%. 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, so it is likely going to be as volatile as 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 5.13, which shows 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 primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 93.97% of its holdings in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $615.26 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade

With turnover at about 46.8%, this fund is making 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, TBCIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.56% compared to the category average of 1.01%. So, TBCIX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1 million, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth I ( TBCIX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth I ( TBCIX ) looks like a somewhat average 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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