- U.S. markets were all slightly positive, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching 20,915.
- The best-performing fund so far for 2017 is T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX).
- India Equities is the best-performing mutual fund subcategory.
- Make sure to check out the previous edition of the Weekly Roundup to keep track of changing trends.
The real estate sector was this week’s best performer and was up 1.68% for the week. However, it remains the only negative sector on a trailing 1-year return basis, down -1.14%.
Explore our Mutual Fund Education section to learn more about important mutual fund concepts.
International Equities – International equities did very well on average, with the MSCI Developed Index increasing 2.09%, while the MSCI Emerging Index increased by 4.29% for the week. Japan’s NIKKEI 225 had a slight decrease of -0.42% for the week and closed at 19,522.
Commodities – The commodity sector improved for the week, with oil seeing a slight increase of $0.29 per barrel and closing at $48.78 per barrel. The price of gold increased by $29 per troy ounce to $1,230, while copper also had an increase of $0.10 per pound and closed at $2.69.
Be sure to read our important tips on how to invest in the right commodity-based mutual fund.
Taxable Bonds – Treasury yields declined across all maturities, with the 2-year Treasury yield decreasing by 5 bps. The 10-year and 30-year Treasuries also saw decreases from last week’s increases, down by 8 bps and 5 bps, respectively.
Municipal Bonds – Shorter-term municipal yields increased with the 2-year AAA-rated municipal yield increasing by 4 bps. The 10-year and 30-year AAA-rated municipal yields, on the other hand, decreased by 5 bps and 6 bps, respectively.
Municipal bond funds posted outflows of $149 million for the week. With the Fed raising rates during this week’s meeting, investors seem to be fleeing from bond funds that are likely to be negatively impacted.
In this context, you can also read about essential tax tips for mutual funds, so that you are aware of key strategies to limit your tax burden.
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund Category
|Category||Top Subcategory||1-Month Subcategory Return (%)||Top Subcategory Performer||Ticker||1-Month Fund Return (%)||Performance Rationale|
|U.S. Equity Fund||Large Cap Growth||1.51%||Polen Growth Institutional||POLIX||3.58%||Fund has over 35% in the technology sector, which is up over 11% YTD.|
|International Equity||India Equities||5.61%||Franklin India Growth Adv||FIGZX||6.11%||Fund invests in India-based companies. The BSE SENSEX Index is up over 11% YTD.|
|Commodities||Broad Basket||-3.66||Catalyst Hedged Commodity Strategy A||CFHAX||-0.27%||Fund invests in commodity options and hedging strategies. With oil falling 15% YTD, this fund was protected by staying in cash.|
|Taxable Bonds||Emerging Markets Bonds||0.78%||Barings Emerg Mkts Dbt Blnded Ttl Ret I||BXEIX||3.46%||Fund invests in bonds of emerging market countries, which have been less effective due to interest rate hikes.|
|Municipal Bonds||High Yield Municipal Bonds||0.24%||Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-Free Munis Y||OMFYX||1.39%||With a yield of over 4%, this fund is more attractive to investors in a rising interest rate environment.|
Performance Snapshot: Top Fund
This fund’s largest holding is in Salesforce.com Inc (CRM), which is up more than 21% YTD.
Top 5 Performers
The following table provides the top-performing mutual funds on a YTD basis as of March 17, 2017. Only those funds that are rated 5 stars by Morningstar and that generated YTD returns greater than that achieved by the S&P 500 are included.
|Top-Performing Fund||Ticker||Category||YTD Return (%)||Net Expense Ratio (%)||% of Assets in Top 10 Holdings||Net Assets $ (Millions)||Top Sector Invested|
|T. Rowe Price Global Technology||PRGTX||Global Equities||17.32%||0.91%||61.20%||$3,800||Technology|
|Wasatch Emerging India Institutional||WIINX||India Equities||17.28%||2.00%||32.90%||$104||Financial Services|
|Morgan Stanley Inst International Opp I||MIOIX||Foreign Large Cap Growth Equities||14.74%||1.34%||49.30%||$85||Technology|
|Matthews India Instl||MIDNX||India Equities||14.71%||0.90%||44.60%||$1,770||Financial Services|
|DFA Emerging Markets Small Cap I||DEMSX||Emerging Markets Equities||14.61%||0.92%||3.90%||$6,080||Consumer Cyclical|