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Is PTSHX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

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Any investors hoping to find a Mutual Fund Bond fund could think about starting with PIMCO Short Term Institutional (PTSHX - Free Report) . PTSHX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

PTSHX is a part of the PIMCO Funds family of funds, a company based out of Newport Beach, CA. PIMCO Short Term Institutional debuted in October of 1987. Since then, PTSHX has accumulated assets of about $11.80 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 1.95%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 1.58%, 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. Over the past three years, PTSHX's standard deviation comes in at 2.38%, compared to the category average of 12.87%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 1.87% compared to the category average of 10.65%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

With a beta of 0.11, this fund is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, PTSHX has a positive alpha of 0.79, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Ratings

Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, PTSHX has 56.71% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher, while 37.55% are of medium quality, with ratings of 'A' to 'BBB'. The fund has an average quality of AA, and focuses on high quality securities.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, PTSHX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.45% compared to the category average of 0.72%. So, PTSHX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $1 million, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, PIMCO Short Term Institutional ( PTSHX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, better downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Bond 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 PTSHX too 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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