Is American Funds AMCAP A (AMCPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you’re looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, then a potential option is American Funds AMCAP A (AMCPX). AMCPX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

AMCPX finds itself in the American Funds family, based out of Los Angeles, CA. Since American Funds AMCAP A made its debut in May of 1967, AMCPX has garnered more than $43.85 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. AMCPX has a 5-year annualized total return of 13.42% and is in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 13.8%, 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 AMCPX over the past three years is 17.97% compared to the category average of 14.91%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 16.02% compared to the category average of 13.23%. 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. AMCPX has a 5-year beta of 0.97, which means it is likely to be as volatile as 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -1.76, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, AMCPX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.65% compared to the category average of 0.99%. From a cost perspective, AMCPX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $250, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Funds AMCAP A ( AMCPX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Equity Report area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into AMCPX too 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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