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Is Dodge & Cox International Stock (DODFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Non US - Equity fund? Dodge & Cox International Stock (DODFX) is a potential starting point. DODFX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

DODFX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

DODFX is a part of the Dodge & Cox family of funds, a company based out of Boston, MA. The Dodge & Cox International Stock made its debut in May of 2001 and DODFX has managed to accumulate roughly $59.27 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 2.06%, and is in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 9.64%, 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. DODFX's standard deviation over the past three years is 13.71% compared to the category average of 13.01%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 14.27% compared to the category average of 12.96%. 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. In DODFX's case, the fund lost 59.93% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 1.48%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Nevertheless, investors should also note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.99, which means it is hypothetically as volatile as 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. DODFX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -7.61, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, DODFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.63% compared to the category average of 1.21%. DODFX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Dodge & Cox International Stock ( DODFX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees compared to its peers.

Don't stop here for your research on Non US - Equity funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare DODFX to its peers as well for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.


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