Is iShares S&P 500 Index K (WFSPX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? You may want to consider iShares S&P 500 Index K (WFSPX) as a possible option. While this fund is not tracked by the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank, we were able to examine other factors like performance, volatility, and cost.

History of Fund/Manager

WFSPX finds itself in the BlackRock family, based out of New York, NY. IShares S&P 500 Index K debuted in July of 1993. Since then, WFSPX has accumulated assets of about $12.02 billion, according to the most recently available information. 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 15.97%, and is in the top 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 18.9%, 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. WFSPX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 17.77% compared to the category average of 15.12%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 15.8% compared to the category average of 13.41%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1, the fund is likely to be as volatile as the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 0.04, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 98.3% of its holdings in stocks, and these companies have an average market capitalization of $463.04 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology

  2. Finance

  3. Retail Trade

This fund’s turnover is about 0%, so the fund managers are making fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, WFSPX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.03% compared to the category average of 0.78%. So, WFSPX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $5 million and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Mutual Fund Equity Report, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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