Back to top

Is USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Having trouble finding a Global - Equity fund? USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX - Free Report) is a potential starting point. USAWX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

USAWX 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

USAA Group is based in San Antonio, TX, and is the manager of USAWX. Since USAA World Growth Fund made its debut in October of 1992, USAWX has garnered more than $1.35 billion in assets. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.09%, and is 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 6.2%, 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. The standard deviation of USAWX over the past three years is 10.66% compared to the category average of 10.33%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 11.12% compared to the category average of 10.27%. 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, USAWX lost 47.96% and outperformed its peer group by 4.61%. This could mean that the fund is a better choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.94, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -3.58. This means 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, USAWX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.10% compared to the category average of 1.16%. So, USAWX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, USAA World Growth Fund ( USAWX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar 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 USAWXin the Global - Equity 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. 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.


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:


USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX) - free report >>

Published in