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Is Columbia Seligman Communications and Information A (SLMCX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Sector - Tech fund seekers may want to consider taking a look at Columbia Seligman Communications and Information A (SLMCX - Free Report) . SLMCX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that SLMCX is a Sector - Tech option, and this area is loaded with many options. Found in a wide number of industries such as semiconductors, software, internet, and networking, tech companies are everywhere. Thus, Sector - Tech mutual funds that invest in technology let investors own a stake in a notoriously volatile sector, but with a much more diversifies approach.

History of Fund/Manager

Columbia is responsible for SLMCX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. The Columbia Seligman Communications and Information A made its debut in June of 1983 and SLMCX has managed to accumulate roughly $3.77 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 17.63%, 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 15%, 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. SLMCX's standard deviation over the past three years is 15.22% compared to the category average of 9.66%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 14.65% compared to the category average of 9.76%. 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. SLMCX lost 39.92% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 13.39%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.07, which means it is hypothetically more 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 5.71, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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.

This fund is currently holding about 86.18% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $188.29 billion. With turnover at about 39%, this fund is making fewer trades than comparable funds.

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, SLMCX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.24% compared to the category average of 1.35%. SLMCX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Columbia Seligman Communications and Information A ( SLMCX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Columbia Seligman Communications and Information A ( SLMCX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on SLMCXin the Sector - Tech 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. 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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