Is MSIF International Opportunities A (MIOPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

·3 min read

Any investors hoping to find a Global - Equity fund could think about starting with MSIF International Opportunities A (MIOPX). MIOPX carries 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 MIOPX is a Global - Equity option, an investment area loaded with different options. While Global - Equity mutual funds invest their assets in large markets--think the U.S., Europe, and Japan--they aren't limited by geography. Their investment technique is one that leverages the global economy in order to offer stable returns.

History of Fund/Manager

MIOPX finds itself in the MorgStanley family, based out of New York, NY. The MSIF International Opportunities A made its debut in March of 2010 and MIOPX has managed to accumulate roughly $792.04 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. Kristian Heugh is the fund's current manager and has held that role since May of 2010.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 20.39%, 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 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. Over the past three years, MIOPX's standard deviation comes in at 20.5%, compared to the category average of 15.65%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 17.48% compared to the category average of 13%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.83, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a positive alpha of 6.16. This means that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, MIOPX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.22% compared to the category average of 1.13%. From a cost perspective, MIOPX is actually more expensive than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, MSIF International Opportunities A ( MIOPX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, MSIF International Opportunities A ( MIOPX ) 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 Global - Equity, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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