Is the Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund (IWIRX) a good mutual fund choice right now?

JHere are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Stock Report category, but where to start your search? Well, one fund that might not be worth investigating is the Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund (IWIRX). IWIRX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (sell), which is based on nine predictor factors such as size, cost, and past performance.

Fund/manager history

Guinness Atkinson is based in Woodland Hills, California and is the director of IWIRX. The Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund got its start in December 1998. Since then, IWIRX has accumulated assets of approximately $182.2 million, according to the most recent information available. Matthew Page and Ian Mortimer are the fund’s co-managers.

Performance

Investors are naturally looking for high performance funds. This fund has a 5-year annualized total return of 15.44% and ranks in the bottom third among its peers in the category. If you’re interested in shorter timeframes, don’t discount the fund’s 3-year annualized total return of 19.23%, which puts it in the middle third over that time frame.

When looking at a fund’s performance, it’s also important to note the standard deviation of returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 17.13%, the standard deviation of IWIRX over the past three years is 19.62%. The fund’s standard deviation over the last 5 years is 17.82% compared to the category average of 15.31%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.05, so it is likely to be more volatile than the market as a whole. 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. IWIRX’s 5-year performance has produces a negative alpha of -0.8, which means that the managers of this portfolio have difficulty choosing securities that generate returns higher than those of the benchmark index.

Expenses

As competition intensifies in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low cost product will perform better, all other things being equal. Thus, it is essential for investors to take a closer look at the cost parameters. In terms of fees, IWIRX is a no-load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.17% compared to the category average of 1.10%. So, IWIRX is actually more expensive than its peers from a cost perspective.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $5,000, and each subsequent investment must be at least $250.

Conclusion

Overall, the Guinness Atkinson Global Innovators Fund (IWIRX) has a low Zacks mutual fund ranking, and in conjunction with its relatively poor performance, medium downside risk, and higher fees, this fund appears to be a somewhat poor choice for investors at the moment.

For more information on the World Mutual Funds Mutual Funds Stock Report area, be sure to visit www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There you can learn more about the ranking process and dive even deeper into IWIRX for more information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio – funds and stocks – in the most efficient way possible.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Dolores W. Simon