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Is MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I (MPEGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Any investors hoping to find a Mid Cap Growth fund could think about starting with MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I (MPEGX - Free Report) . MPEGX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that MPEGX is a Mid Cap Growth fund, and this area is also loaded with many different options. Companies are usually considered growth stocks when they consistently report notable sales and/or earnings growth. Thus, Mid Cap Growth funds pick stocks--usually companies with a market cap between $2 billion and $10 billion--that demonstrate extensive growth opportunities for investors compared to their peers.

History of Fund/Manager

MorgStanley is based in New York, NY, and is the manager of MPEGX. MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I debuted in March of 1990. Since then, MPEGX has accumulated assets of about $261.47 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 11.61%, and it sits in the middle 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 19.84%, 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. Over the past three years, MPEGX's standard deviation comes in at 16.23%, compared to the category average of 9.41%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 16.07% compared to the category average of 9.22%. 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. MPEGX lost 55.8% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 4.68%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 0.97, the fund is likely to be as volatile as 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 -0.86, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, MPEGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.71% compared to the category average of 1.20%. So, MPEGX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5 million, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I ( MPEGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, MSIFT Mid Cap Growth Portfolio I ( MPEGX ) looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Mid Cap Growth funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare MPEGX to its peers 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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