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Is BCOSX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

If investors are looking at the Mutual Fund Bond fund category, Baird Core Plus Bond Investor (BCOSX) could be a potential option. BCOSX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Baird is based in Milwaukee, WI, and is the manager of BCOSX. Baird Core Plus Bond Investor debuted in September of 2000. Since then, BCOSX has accumulated assets of about $1.63 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager is a team of investment professionals.

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 3.66%, and it sits in the middle 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 6.18%, which places it in the middle 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. Over the past three years, BCOSX's standard deviation comes in at 4.16%, compared to the category average of 9.85%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 3.71% compared to the category average of 8.26%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

BCOSX carries a beta of 1.08, meaning that the fund is more volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. With this in mind, it has a positive alpha of 0.48, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

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, BCOSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.55% compared to the category average of 0.85%. BCOSX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $2,500 and that each subsequent investment needs to be at $100.

Bottom Line

Overall, Baird Core Plus Bond Investor ( BCOSX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Mutual Fund Bond 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. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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