Is Schwab International Index (SWISX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Have you been searching for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? You might want to begin with Schwab International Index (SWISX). SWISX has no Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, but we have been able to look into other metrics like performance, volatility, and cost.

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History of Fund/Manager

SWISX finds itself in the Schwab Funds family, based out of San Francisco, CA. The Schwab International Index made its debut in May of 1997 and SWISX has managed to accumulate roughly $8.04 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund’s current manager is a team of investment professionals.

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 1.73%, 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 1.05%, 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. SWISX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 21.04% compared to the category average of 20.9%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 18.12% compared to the category average of 18.09%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund’s risk compared to the market as a whole. SWISX has a 5-year beta of 0.86, which means it is likely to be less 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -5.89. This means that 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, SWISX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.06% compared to the category average of 0.79%. From a cost perspective, SWISX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

This could just be the start of your research on SWISXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

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