Is T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Balanced (TRPBX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Balanced (TRPBX) is a possible starting point. TRPBX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

TRPBX finds itself in the T. Rowe Price family, based out of Baltimore, MD. The T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Balanced made its debut in June of 1994 and TRPBX has managed to accumulate roughly $2.19 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. Charles Shriver is the fund’s current manager and has held that role since May of 2011.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. TRPBX has a 5-year annualized total return of 5.16% and is in the middle 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 3.57%, which places it in the bottom 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. Compared to the category average of 13.66%, the standard deviation of TRPBX over the past three years is 12.61%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 11.03% compared to the category average of 12.17%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.62, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. With a negative alpha of -2.31, managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, TRPBX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.50% compared to the category average of 0.86%. So, TRPBX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Balanced ( TRPBX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Balanced ( TRPBX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Equity Report area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into TRPBX too 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.

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