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Is Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional (JAAGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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There are plenty of choices in the Mid Cap Growth category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional (JAAGX). JAAGX has 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 JAAGX 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

Janus Fund is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of JAAGX. Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional debuted in September of 1993. Since then, JAAGX has accumulated assets of about $710.73 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Brian Demain, has been in charge of the fund since November of 2007.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 15.54%, 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 19.38%, 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 JAAGX over the past three years is 12.48% compared to the category average of 13.47%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 12.17% compared to the category average of 13.64%. This makes the fund less 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 JAAGX's case, the fund lost 52.61% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 1.15%. This means that the fund could possibly be a worse choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.99, so it is likely going to be as volatile as 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. With a positive alpha of 3.8, managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining 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.

Right now, 93.12% of this mutual fund's holdings are stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $14.42 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance
  3. Services
  4. Other

Turnover is 14%, which means this fund makes fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, JAAGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.72% compared to the category average of 1.18%. From a cost perspective, JAAGX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional ( JAAGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

This could just be the start of your research on JAAGXin the Mid Cap Growth 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. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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