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Is Akre Focus Retail (AKREX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Large Cap Growth fund? Well, Akre Focus Retail (AKREX - Free Report) would not be a good potential starting point right now. AKREX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

AKREX 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

AKREX finds itself in the Akre family, based out of Middleburg, VA. Akre Focus Retail debuted in August of 2009. Since then, AKREX has accumulated assets of about $6.25 billion, according to the most recently available information. John H. Neff is the fund's current manager and has held that role since August of 2014.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 21.99%, and is in the middle 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 21.54%, 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. AKREX's standard deviation over the past three years is 17.21% compared to the category average of 16.72%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.06% compared to the category average of 13.75%. 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 0.82, so it is likely going to be less volatile than 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. AKREX's 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 6.36, 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, AKREX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.31% compared to the category average of 1.02%. So, AKREX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $250.

Bottom Line

Overall, Akre Focus Retail ( AKREX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, Akre Focus Retail ( AKREX ) looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Large Cap Growth area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into AKREX too 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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