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If you've been stuck searching for Large Cap Blend funds, consider Schwab Core Equity SWANX as a possibility. SWANX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

SWANX is part of the Large Cap Blend section, an area that boasts an array of many possible options. Large Cap Blend mutual funds most often invest in firms with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more. By investing in bigger companies, these funds offer more stability, and are often well-suited for investors with a "buy and hold" mindset. Blended funds mix large, established companies into their holdings, which gives investors exposure to both value and growth at the same time.

History of Fund/Manager

SWANX is a part of the Schwab Funds family of funds, a company based out of San Francisco, CA. Schwab Core Equity made its debut in June of 1996, and since then, SWANX has accumulated about $2.19 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 14.97%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 12.93%, 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. Compared to the category average of 10.49%, the standard deviation of SWANX over the past three years is 11.07%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 10.26% compared to the category average of 9.9%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

It's always important to be aware of the downsides to any future investment, so one should not discount the risks that come with this segment. In the most recent bear market, SWANX lost 46.56% and outperformed its peer group by 3.11%. This could mean that the fund is a better choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. SWANX has a 5-year beta of 1.05, which means it is likely to be more volatile than the market average. 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 negative alpha of -1.52, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 85.12% of its holdings in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $158.92 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Finance
  3. Non-Durable

With turnover at about 84%, this fund makes more trades per year than the comparable average.

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, SWANX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.73% compared to the category average of 1%. SWANX 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 $100 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Schwab Core Equity SWANX 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.

Want even more information about SWANX? 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. 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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