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Is JPMorgan Large Cap Growth A (OLGAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

On the lookout for a Large Cap Growth fund? Starting with JPMorgan Large Cap Growth A (OLGAX) is one possibility. OLGAX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

OLGAX is part of the Large Cap Growth section, and this segment boasts an array of other possible options. Large Cap Growth mutual funds purchase stakes in numerous large U.S. companies that are expected to develop and grow at a faster rate than other large-cap stocks. Companies are usually considered to be large-cap if their market capitalization is over $10 billion.

History of Fund/Manager

J.P. Morgan is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of OLGAX. The JPMorgan Large Cap Growth A made its debut in February of 1994 and OLGAX has managed to accumulate roughly $2.58 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Giri Devulapally, has been in charge of the fund since August of 2004.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 14.47%, and is in the top third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 22.23%, 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. OLGAX's standard deviation over the past three years is 14.85% compared to the category average of 9.96%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.46% compared to the category average of 10.07%. 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. OLGAX lost 47.74% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 1%. This might suggest that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a bear market.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 1.08, the fund is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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. OLGAX's 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 3.6, which means managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring 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 80.88% stock in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $215.71 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade

With turnover at about 50%, this fund makes fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, OLGAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.93% compared to the category average of 1.05%. So, OLGAX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, JPMorgan Large Cap Growth A ( OLGAX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Large 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 OLGAX to its peers 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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