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Is Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund (IWIRX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Global - Equity category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund (IWIRX - Free Report) . IWIRX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

IWIRX is classified in the Global - Equity segment by Zacks, an area full of possibilities. Even though Global - Equity mutual funds invest in bigger markets like the U.S., Europe, and Japan, these kinds of funds aren't limited by geography. Rather, they offer an investment strategy that utilizes the global economy to provide stable returns.

History of Fund/Manager

IWIRX finds itself in the Guinness Atkinson family, based out of Woodland Hills, CA. Since Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund made its debut in December of 1998, IWIRX has garnered more than $185.90 million in assets. Matthew Page is the fund's current manager and has held that role since May of 2010.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 15.3%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 11.8%, 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. IWIRX's standard deviation over the past three years is 12.65% compared to the category average of 11.16%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 11.91% compared to the category average of 10.83%. 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 IWIRX's case, the fund lost 56.1% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 3.7%. This makes the fund a possibly worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. IWIRX has a 5-year beta of 1.09, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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 1.25, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, IWIRX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.24% compared to the category average of 1.19%. So, IWIRX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $5,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $250.

Bottom Line

Overall, Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about IWIRX? 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. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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