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Is Hartford Healthcare Fund HLS IA (HIAHX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If investors are looking at the Sector - Health fund category, Hartford Healthcare Fund HLS IA (HIAHX - Free Report) could be a potential option. HIAHX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Sector - Health funds is an area filled with options, such as HIAHX. Healthcare is one of the biggest sectors of the American economy, and Sector - Health mutual funds provide a great opportunity to invest in this industry. Here, funds can include everything from for-profit hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

History of Fund/Manager

Hartford is responsible for HIAHX, and the company is based out of Woodbury, MN. The Hartford Healthcare Fund HLS IA made its debut in December of 2001 and HIAHX has managed to accumulate roughly $175.27 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 16.39%, 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 15.98%, 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 17.14%, the standard deviation of HIAHX over the past three years is 18.09%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 15.83% compared to the category average of 14.82%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.87, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than 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. With a positive alpha of 0.82, 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, HIAHX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.91% compared to the category average of 1.32%. From a cost perspective, HIAHX 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, Hartford Healthcare Fund HLS IA ( HIAHX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Hartford Healthcare Fund HLS IA ( HIAHX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Sector - Health, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.


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