Is State Farm Growth Fund (STFGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

·4-min read

There are plenty of choices in the Large Cap Blend category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is State Farm Growth Fund (STFGX). STFGX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

STFGX 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

State Farm is based in Bloomington, IL, and is the manager of STFGX. State Farm Growth Fund made its debut in March of 1975, and since then, STFGX has accumulated about $6.75 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Robert Stephan, has been in charge of the fund since October of 2020.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. STFGX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.44% and is in the bottom third among its category peers. If you're interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund's 3-year annualized total return of 17.82%, 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. STFGX's standard deviation over the past three years is 16.32% compared to the category average of 19.15%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 13.47% compared to the category average of 15.63%. This makes the fund less 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. STFGX has a 5-year beta of 0.87, 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. STFGX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -0.51, 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, STFGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.12% compared to the category average of 0.95%. STFGX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $250, and each subsequent investment should be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, State Farm Growth Fund ( STFGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, State Farm Growth Fund ( STFGX ) looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Large Cap Blend 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. 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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