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Is Cohen & Steers International Realty A (IRFAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should not consider taking a look at Cohen & Steers International Realty A (IRFAX - Free Report) at this time. IRFAX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Cohen & Steers is based in New York, NY, and is the manager of IRFAX. The Cohen & Steers International Realty A made its debut in April of 2005 and IRFAX has managed to accumulate roughly $49.96 million in assets, as of 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 9.05%, and is 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 9.33%, 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. The standard deviation of IRFAX over the past three years is 17.88% compared to the category average of 15.39%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 14.94% compared to the category average of 13.31%. This makes the fund more 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. IRFAX has a 5-year beta of 0.74, 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. With a negative alpha of -3.82, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, IRFAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.35% compared to the category average of 1.21%. So, IRFAX is actually more expensive 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, Cohen & Steers International Realty A ( IRFAX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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