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Is TETON Convertible Securities AAA (WESRX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you've been stuck searching for Sector - Real Estate funds, consider TETON Convertible Securities AAA (WESRX - Free Report) as a possibility. WESRX holds 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 WESRX in Sector - Real Estate, which is a segment packed with options. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a popular income vehicle thanks their taxation rules, and Sector - Real Estate mutual funds typically invest in them. A REIT is required to pay out at least 90% of its income annually to avoid double taxation, and this technique makes securities in these funds high dividend players--almost bond-like in some cases--though their risk is similar to equities.

History of Fund/Manager

WESRX finds itself in the Gabelli Funds family, based out of Rye, NY. Since TETON Convertible Securities AAA made its debut in September of 1997, WESRX has garnered more than $4.14 million in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

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 7.31%, and is 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 4.97%, 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. Over the past three years, WESRX's standard deviation comes in at 10.38%, compared to the category average of 12.25%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 10.23% compared to the category average of 12.53%. 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. In WESRX's case, the fund lost 46.57% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 17.35%. This might suggest that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a bear market.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. WESRX has a 5-year beta of 0.93, 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. With a negative alpha of -4.11, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, WESRX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.57% compared to the category average of 1.24%. So, WESRX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, TETON Convertible Securities AAA has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on WESRXin the Sector - Real Estate category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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