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Is Columbia Seligman Global Technology A (SHGTX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Sector - Tech category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that may not be worth investigating is Columbia Seligman Global Technology A (SHGTX - Free Report) . SHGTX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Sector - Tech funds is an area filled with options, and SHGTX is one of them. Sector - Tech mutual funds allow investors to own a stake in a notoriously volatile sector with a much more diversified approach. Tech companies can be in any number of industries such as semiconductors, software, internet, networking just to name a few.

History of Fund/Manager

SHGTX is a part of the Columbia family of funds, a company based out of Boston, MA. Since Columbia Seligman Global Technology A made its debut in May of 1994, SHGTX has garnered more than $776.87 million in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 22.39%, 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 22.47%, 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. Compared to the category average of 9.67%, the standard deviation of SHGTX over the past three years is 15.34%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 13.14% compared to the category average of 9.33%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. In SHGTX's case, the fund lost 45.2% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 7.73%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.98, 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 6.43, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

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, SHGTX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.33% compared to the category average of 1.28%. From a cost perspective, SHGTX is actually more expensive than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Columbia Seligman Global Technology A has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, Columbia Seligman Global Technology A looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about SHGTX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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