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Is American Century Mid Cap Value Investor (ACMVX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Any investors hoping to find a Mid Cap Value fund could think about starting with American Century Mid Cap Value Investor (ACMVX). ACMVX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

ACMVX is one of many Mid Cap Value mutual funds to choose from. Mid Cap Value funds usually invest in companies with a stock market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion; these medium-sized firms possess strong value and income opportunities for investors.

History of Fund/Manager

American Century is based in Kansas City, MO, and is the manager of ACMVX. Since American Century Mid Cap Value Investor made its debut in March of 2004, ACMVX has garnered more than $3.61 billion in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 8.91%, and it sits 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 8.03%, 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, ACMVX's standard deviation comes in at 10.29%, compared to the category average of 9.03%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 9.95% compared to the category average of 9.13%. This makes the fund more 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. ACMVX lost 41.65% in the most recent bear market and outperformed its peer group by 9.82%. These results could imply that the fund is a better choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.89, 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. ACMVX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.99, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

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, ACMVX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.96% compared to the category average of 1.16%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, ACMVX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Century Mid Cap Value Investor ( ACMVX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, American Century Mid Cap Value Investor ( ACMVX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mid Cap Value segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well 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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