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Is Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, a potential starting could be Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX - Free Report) . PRPFX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Permanent is responsible for PRPFX, and the company is based out of San Francisco, CA. Permanent Portfolio Fund made its debut in December of 1982, and since then, PRPFX has accumulated about $2.85 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. Michael J. Cuggino is the fund's current manager and has held that role since May of 2003.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 9.98%, and it sits 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 15.49%, 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 PRPFX over the past three years is 11.83% compared to the category average of 12.14%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 10.03% compared to the category average of 10.21%. 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. PRPFX has a 5-year beta of 0.57, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.73, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, PRPFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.82% compared to the category average of 0.89%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, PRPFX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Permanent Portfolio Fund ( PRPFX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Equity Report 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 PRPFX to its peers as well 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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