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Is T. Rowe Price Diversified Mid-Cap Growth (PRDMX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should consider taking a look at T. Rowe Price Diversified Mid-Cap Growth (PRDMX). PRDMX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

T. Rowe Price is based in Baltimore, MD, and is the manager of PRDMX. Since T. Rowe Price Diversified Mid-Cap Growth made its debut in January of 2004, PRDMX has garnered more than $1 billion in assets. Donald J. Peters is the fund's current manager and has held that role since January of 2004.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 8.62%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 4.74%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.

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It is important to note that the product's returns may not reflect all its expenses. Any fees not reflected would lower the returns. Total returns do not reflect the fund's [%] sale charge. If sales charges were included, total returns would have been lower.

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, PRDMX's standard deviation comes in at 19.99%, compared to the category average of 18.03%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 21.65% compared to the category average of 19.14%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 1.07, so it is likely going to be more 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -2.4, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Investigating 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 primarily on equities that are traded in the United States.

The mutual fund currently has 75.68% of its holdings in stocks and it has 4.06% of assets in foreign securities. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  • Technology

  • Retail Trade

  • Services

  • Industrial Cyclical

This fund's turnover is about 48.8%, so the fund managers are making fewer trades than its comparable peers.

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, PRDMX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.86% compared to the category average of 1.15%. PRDMX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $2,500, and each subsequent investment should be at least $100.

Fees charged by investment advisors have not been taken into considiration. Returns would be less if those were included.

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Diversified Mid-Cap Growth ( PRDMX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, T. Rowe Price Diversified Mid-Cap Growth ( PRDMX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report 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. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.

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