Is BlackRock Global Allocation A (MDLOX) 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 BlackRock Global Allocation A (MDLOX). MDLOX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

BlackRock is responsible for MDLOX, and the company is based out of New York, NY. BlackRock Global Allocation A debuted in October of 1994. Since then, MDLOX has accumulated assets of about $9.85 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. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.18%, 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 4.52%, 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. The standard deviation of MDLOX over the past three years is 12.85% compared to the category average of 15.01%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund’s standard deviation is 11.13% compared to the category average of 13.39%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.62, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. With a negative alpha of -3.16, 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, MDLOX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.06% compared to the category average of 0.86%. From a cost perspective, MDLOX is actually more expensive than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, BlackRock Global Allocation A ( MDLOX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, BlackRock Global Allocation A ( MDLOX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on MDLOXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well 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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