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Is Columbia Seligman Comm/Info A (SLMCX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Sector - Tech fund? Starting with Columbia Seligman Comm/Info A (SLMCX - Free Report) should not be a possibility at this time. SLMCX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that SLMCX is a Sector - Tech option, and this area is loaded with many options. Found in a wide number of industries such as semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, tech companies are everywhere. Thus, Sector - Tech mutual funds that invest in technology let investors own a stake in a notoriously volatile sector, but with a much more diversifies approach.

History of Fund/Manager

Columbia is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of SLMCX. Columbia Seligman Comm/Info A made its debut in June of 1983, and since then, SLMCX has accumulated about $3.76 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 22.98%, 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 22.59%, 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 SLMCX over the past three years is 15.16% compared to the category average of 9.77%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 13.11% compared to the category average of 13.69%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. SLMCX lost 39.92% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 12.89%. This might suggest that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a bear market.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1, so it is likely going to be as volatile as 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 7.32, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Investigating the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

Right now, 99.52% of this mutual fund's holdings are stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $140.39 billion. Turnover is 54%, which means this fund makes fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, SLMCX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.29% compared to the category average of 1.41%. From a cost perspective, SLMCX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Columbia Seligman Comm/Info A SLMCX has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Columbia Seligman Comm/Info A looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Sector - Tech 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 SLMCX to its peers as well for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.




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