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Is T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income (PRSIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

If you're looking for an Allocation Balanced fund category, then a potential option is T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income (PRSIX). PRSIX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

PRSIX is classified in the Allocation Balanced segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Here, investors are able to get a good head start with diversified mutual funds, and play around with core holding options for a portfolio of funds. Allocation Balanced funds look to invest across a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation.

History of Fund/Manager

T. Rowe Price is based in Baltimore, MD, and is the manager of PRSIX. T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income debuted in July of 1994. Since then, PRSIX has accumulated assets of about $1.85 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Charles M. Shriver who has been in charge of the fund since May of 2011.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 5.36%, 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 7.08%, 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. Over the past three years, PRSIX's standard deviation comes in at 4.94%, compared to the category average of 8.63%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 5.27% compared to the category average of 8.7%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment. In the most recent bear market, PRSIX lost 27.29% and outperformed its peer group by 9%. This means that the fund could possibly be a better choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.4, so investors should note that it is hypothetically 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. With a positive alpha of 0.4, managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, PRSIX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.39% compared to the category average of 0.92%. PRSIX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income ( PRSIX ) 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.

For additional information on the Allocation Balanced area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into PRSIX too 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.


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