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Is Driehaus International Small Cap Growth (DRIOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If investors are looking at the Non US - Equity fund category, Driehaus International Small Cap Growth (DRIOX - Free Report) could be a potential option. DRIOX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We classify DRIOX in the Non US - Equity category, which is an area rife with potential choices. Investing in companies outside the United States is how Non US - Equity funds set themselves apart, since global funds tend to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. Many of these funds like to allocate across emerging and developed markets, and will often focus on all cap levels.

History of Fund/Manager

Driehaus is based in Chicago, IL, and is the manager of DRIOX. The Driehaus International Small Cap Growth made its debut in September of 2007 and DRIOX has managed to accumulate roughly $318.57 million 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. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 16.41%, and it sits in the top 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 14.71%, 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. The standard deviation of DRIOX over the past three years is 20.48% compared to the category average of 20.81%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 17.12% compared to the category average of 17.33%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.97, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. 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 0.01, 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, DRIOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.23% compared to the category average of 1.18%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, DRIOX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $10,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $2,000.

Bottom Line

Overall, Driehaus International Small Cap Growth ( DRIOX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about DRIOX? 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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