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Is Mairs & Power Balanced Fund (MAPOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

·3 min read

If investors are looking at the Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, Mairs & Power Balanced Fund (MAPOX) could be a potential option. MAPOX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Mairs & Power is based in St. Paul, MN, and is the manager of MAPOX. Mairs & Power Balanced Fund made its debut in December of 1961, and since then, MAPOX has accumulated about $886.40 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Kevin Earley, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2015.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. MAPOX has a 5-year annualized total return of 7.81% and it sits 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 9.25%, 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. MAPOX's standard deviation over the past three years is 12.53% compared to the category average of 12.61%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 11.18% compared to the category average of 11%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.65, so investors should note that 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. MAPOX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.31, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, MAPOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared to the category average of 0.86%. So, MAPOX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Mairs & Power Balanced Fund ( MAPOX ) 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.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Mutual Fund Equity Report, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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