Is ClearBridge Aggressive Growth A (SHRAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, it would not be wise to start your search with ClearBridge Aggressive Growth A (SHRAX). SHRAX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is based in San Mateo, CA, and is the manager of SHRAX. ClearBridge Aggressive Growth A debuted in October of 1983. Since then, SHRAX has accumulated assets of about $5.84 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund’s current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. SHRAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 7.22% and is in the bottom 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 9.64%, 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. SHRAX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 19.89% compared to the category average of 15.12%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund’s standard deviation is 18.18% compared to the category average of 13.41%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1.04, the fund is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -7.85. This means 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 largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

Right now, 84.88% of this mutual fund’s holdings are stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $122.54 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Health

  3. Finance

This fund’s turnover is about 8%, so the fund managers are 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, SHRAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.11% compared to the category average of 1%. From a cost perspective, SHRAX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, ClearBridge Aggressive Growth A ( SHRAX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about SHRAX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. And don’t forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.

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