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Is Ivy Science & Technology Y (WSTYX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Sector - Tech fund? Well, Ivy Science & Technology Y (WSTYX - Free Report) would not be a good potential starting point right now. WSTYX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that WSTYX is a Sector - Tech option, and this area is loaded with many options. Found in a wide number of industries such as semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, tech companies are everywhere. Thus, Sector - Tech mutual funds that invest in technology let investors own a stake in a notoriously volatile sector, but with a much more diversifies approach.

History of Fund/Manager

Ivy Funds is based in Boca Raton, FL, and is the manager of WSTYX. Since Ivy Science & Technology Y made its debut in June of 1998, WSTYX has garnered more than $340 million in assets. The fund's current manager, Zachary H. Shafran, has been in charge of the fund since February of 2001.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 19.49%, 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 22.26%, 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. Over the past three years, WSTYX's standard deviation comes in at 22.47%, compared to the category average of 16%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 19.54% compared to the category average of 13.63%. 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. WSTYX has a 5-year beta of 1.17, which means it is likely to be more 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 3.27, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, WSTYX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.18% compared to the category average of 1.38%. From a cost perspective, WSTYX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Ivy Science & Technology Y ( WSTYX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Ivy Science & Technology Y ( WSTYX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Sector - Tech funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare WSTYX to its peers as well for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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