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Is Nuveen International Growth A (NBQAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read

Any investors hoping to find a Non US - Equity fund could think about starting with Nuveen International Growth A (NBQAX). NBQAX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.


NBQAX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

Nuveen is based in Chicago, IL, and is the manager of NBQAX. Nuveen International Growth A debuted in June of 2010. Since then, NBQAX has accumulated assets of about $42.49 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Joseph O'Flaherty who has been in charge of the fund since October of 2017.


Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. NBQAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 8.95% and is in the middle 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 7.31%, which places it in the bottom 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. Over the past three years, NBQAX's standard deviation comes in at 20.02%, compared to the category average of 15.49%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 17.03% compared to the category average of 13.19%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.99, so investors should note that it is hypothetically 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. NBQAX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -5.1, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


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, NBQAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.13% compared to the category average of 1.20%. NBQAX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $3,000 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Nuveen International Growth A ( NBQAX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about NBQAX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis 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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