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Is T. Rowe Price Japan Fund (PRJPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Equity Report category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that may not be worth investigating is T. Rowe Price Japan Fund (PRJPX - Free Report) . PRJPX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

T. Rowe Price is based in Baltimore, MD, and is the manager of PRJPX. T. Rowe Price Japan Fund debuted in December of 1991. Since then, PRJPX has accumulated assets of about $352.31 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Archibald Ciganer who has been in charge of the fund since December of 2013.


Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. PRJPX has a 5-year annualized total return of 0.81% and it sits 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 -2.79%, which places it in the bottom 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. PRJPX's standard deviation over the past three years is 18.31% compared to the category average of 15.93%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 16.86% compared to the category average of 14.53%. 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. PRJPX has a 5-year beta of 0.73, 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. PRJPX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -6.71, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, PRJPX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.03% compared to the category average of 1.44%. From a cost perspective, PRJPX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Japan Fund ( PRJPX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, T. Rowe Price Japan Fund ( PRJPX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on PRJPXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank 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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