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Is American Funds Growth Fund of America A (AGTHX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Large Cap Growth funds, a place to start could be American Funds Growth Fund of America A (AGTHX - Free Report) . AGTHX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

AGTHX is classified in the Large Cap Growth segment by Zacks, an area full of possibilities. Companies are usually considered to be large-cap if their stock market valuation is more than $10 billion. Large Cap Growth mutual funds invest in many large U.S. firms that are projected to grow at a faster rate than their large-cap peers.

History of Fund/Manager

AGTHX is a part of the American Funds family of funds, a company based out of Los Angeles, CA. The American Funds Growth Fund of America A made its debut in December of 1973 and AGTHX has managed to accumulate roughly $114.59 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. AGTHX has a 5-year annualized total return of 20.45% 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 16.6%, 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, AGTHX's standard deviation comes in at 19.42%, compared to the category average of 15.26%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 15.8% compared to the category average of 12.73%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1.01, so investors should note that it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. 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 positive alpha of 3.66. This means that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, AGTHX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.64% compared to the category average of 1.03%. From a cost perspective, AGTHX 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 Growth Fund of America A ( AGTHX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Large Cap Growth 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 AGTHX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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