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Is American Century International Opportunity Institutional (ACIOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Non US - Equity funds, it would not be wise to start your search with American Century International Opportunity Institutional (ACIOX - Free Report) . ACIOX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes ACIOX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

ACIOX finds itself in the American Century family, based out of Kansas City, MO. American Century International Opportunity Institutional debuted in January of 2003. Since then, ACIOX has accumulated assets of about $56.17 million, according to the most recently available information. Trevor Gurwich is the fund's current manager and has held that role since August of 2005.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.4%, 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 11.93%, 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. The standard deviation of ACIOX over the past three years is 11.67% compared to the category average of 9.54%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 11.36% compared to the category average of 9.29%. This makes the fund more 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 the most recent bear market, ACIOX lost 64.47% and outperformed its peer group by 6.07%. This makes the fund a possibly better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.76, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than 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. ACIOX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.64, demonstrating that 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, ACIOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.27% compared to the category average of 1.28%. From a cost perspective, ACIOX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5 million, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Century International Opportunity Institutional ( ACIOX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, American Century International Opportunity Institutional ( ACIOX ) looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Non US - Equity 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 ACIOX to its peers as well for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.


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