Is Harbor Mid Cap Growth Institutional (HAMGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? You may want to consider Harbor Mid Cap Growth Institutional (HAMGX) as a possible option. HAMGX bears 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

Harbor Funds is based in Chicago, IL, and is the manager of HAMGX. Harbor Mid Cap Growth Institutional debuted in November of 2000. Since then, HAMGX has accumulated assets of about $220.84 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Spenser Lerner who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2021.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 11.9%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 5.15%, 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. Compared to the category average of 17.19%, the standard deviation of HAMGX over the past three years is 25.69%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 23.29% compared to the category average of 15.13%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.19, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more volatile than the market at large. 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 negative alpha over the past 5 years of -2.65, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

Right now, 77.01% of this mutual fund’s holdings are stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $352.32 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Retail Trade

With turnover at about 182%, this fund is making more trades per year than the comparable average.

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, HAMGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.82% compared to the category average of 1.15%. HAMGX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $50,000, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Harbor Mid Cap Growth Institutional ( HAMGX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Harbor Mid Cap Growth Institutional ( HAMGX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about HAMGX? 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. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.

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