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Is Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund I Class Y (CSGYX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Small Cap Growth fund seekers may want to consider taking a look at Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund I Class Y (CSGYX - Free Report) . CSGYX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Small Cap Growth funds is an area filled with options, such as CSGYX. These funds tend to create their portfolios around stocks that sport large growth opportunities and market capitalization of less than $2 billion. The companies in these portfolios are usually on the smaller side, and are in up-and-coming industries and markets.

History of Fund/Manager

Columbia is based in Kansas City, MO, and is the manager of CSGYX. Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund I Class Y debuted in July of 2009. Since then, CSGYX has accumulated assets of about $489.03 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Wayne Collette, has been in charge of the fund since July of 2009.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 29.94%, and is in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 34.96%, which places it in the top 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 16.45%, the standard deviation of CSGYX over the past three years is 27.2%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 21.76% compared to the category average of 13.58%. 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. CSGYX has a 5-year beta of 1.2, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. CSGYX's 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 8.63, which means 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, CSGYX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.84% compared to the category average of 1.21%. CSGYX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund I Class Y ( CSGYX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund I Class Y ( CSGYX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Small Cap Growth, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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