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Is BlackRock Exchange BlackRock (STSEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Large Cap Growth fund? Well, BlackRock Exchange BlackRock (STSEX - Free Report) would not be a good potential starting point right now. STSEX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

STSEX 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

BlackRock is responsible for STSEX, and the company is based out of New York, NY. The BlackRock Exchange BlackRock made its debut in May of 1986 and STSEX has managed to accumulate roughly $200.57 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Lawrence Kemp who has been in charge of the fund since January of 2013.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 15.13%, and is 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 18.03%, 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. Compared to the category average of 19.19%, the standard deviation of STSEX over the past three years is 16.52%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.59% compared to the category average of 15.67%. This makes the fund less 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. STSEX has a 5-year beta of 0.86, which means it is likely to be less 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -0.12. 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, STSEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.79% compared to the category average of 1.02%. So, STSEX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, BlackRock Exchange BlackRock ( STSEX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak 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 STSEX 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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