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Is Harbor Large Cap Value Institutional (HAVLX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Large Cap Value fund seekers may want to consider taking a look at Harbor Large Cap Value Institutional (HAVLX - Free Report) . HAVLX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

HAVLX is one of many Large Cap Value mutual funds to choose from. These funds invest in equities with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, but whose share prices do not reflect their intrinsic value. This strategy can often produce low P/E ratios and high dividend yields; growth levels; however, growth levels are oftentimes cut back. These funds' high growth opportunities are slowed even more since large-cap stocks are usually in more stable industries with low to moderate growth prospects. Thus, investors interested in a stable income stream fund Large Cap Value funds very appealing.

History of Fund/Manager

Harbor Funds is based in Chicago, IL, and is the manager of HAVLX. The Harbor Large Cap Value Institutional made its debut in December of 1987 and HAVLX has managed to accumulate roughly $498.36 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Howard Gleicher who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2012.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. HAVLX has a 5-year annualized total return of 13.64% and it sits 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 12.24%, 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. HAVLX's standard deviation over the past three years is 10.61% compared to the category average of 9.4%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 10.76% compared to the category average of 9.19%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. HAVLX lost 48.49% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 1.75%. This might suggest that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a bear market.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 1.04, the fund is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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 -0.07, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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 principally on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 96.59% of its holdings in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $100.45 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Finance
  2. Technology

With turnover at about 16%, 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, HAVLX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.68% compared to the category average of 1.03%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, HAVLX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $50,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Harbor Large Cap Value Institutional has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Harbor Large Cap Value Institutional looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Large Cap Value 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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