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Is ProFunds UltraInternational Investor (UNPIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Non US - Equity fund? Starting with ProFunds UltraInternational Investor (UNPIX - Free Report) is one possibility. UNPIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes UNPIX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

UNPIX is a part of the ProFunds family of funds, a company based out of Columbus, OH. ProFunds UltraInternational Investor made its debut in April of 2006, and since then, UNPIX has accumulated about $20.85 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Alexander V. Ilyasov who has been in charge of the fund since November of 2009.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.58%, and it sits in the top 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 8.85%, 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 UNPIX over the past three years is 22.59% compared to the category average of 12.53%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 22.76% compared to the category average of 11.95%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, UNPIX lost 87.12% and underperformed its peer group by 28.74%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.87, so investors should note that it is hypothetically more volatile than the market at large. 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. With a negative alpha of -16.04, 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, UNPIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.78% compared to the category average of 1.29%. From a cost perspective, UNPIX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $15,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, ProFunds UltraInternational Investor has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Non US - Equity 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. 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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