Is AllianzGI Global Water A (AWTAX) 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 AllianzGI Global Water A (AWTAX). AWTAX has 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

AWTAX is a part of the Virtus Funds family of funds, a company based out of Hartford, CT. AllianzGI Global Water A debuted in April of 2008. Since then, AWTAX has accumulated assets of about $223.05 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Andreas Fruschki who has been in charge of the fund since April of 2008.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 6.2%, and it sits in the bottom 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 4.83%, 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 17.98%, the standard deviation of AWTAX over the past three years is 18.01%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 16.25% compared to the category average of 16.15%. 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. AWTAX has a 5-year beta of 0.86, which means it is likely to be less 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 -3.21. This means that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, AWTAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.22% compared to the category average of 1.21%. So, AWTAX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, AllianzGI Global Water A ( AWTAX ) 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 AWTAX? 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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