How Has the AB International Growth Fund Performed?


Mar. 11 2016, Updated 8:07 a.m. ET

AB International Growth Fund performance

In this article, we’ll specifically outline the performance of the AB International Growth Fund – Class A (AWPAX), which is one of the classes available for retail investors. The fund is invested in companies like Roche Holding (RHHBY), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), ING Groep (ING), TAL Education Group (XRS), and Tata Motors (TTM), among others.

From a purely NAV (net asset value) return standpoint, the AWPAX was the worst performer for the one-year period until February 29, 2016, and stood tenth for 2015 in the peer group chosen for this series. For return comparison, we have chosen two ETFs: the iShares MSCI ACWI ex U.S. ETF (ACWX) and the Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU). For evaluating benchmark-related metrics, we’ve chosen ACWX as the benchmark for all funds in this review, as it tracks the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index.

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Other metrics

The AWPAX’s standard deviation, or the volatility of returns, in the one-year period until February 29 was 16.0%. This is higher than both the ACWX’s 15.4% and the peer group’s average of 15.7%.

The fund’s risk-adjusted returns, calculated via the Sharpe Ratio, were negative for the one-year period ended February 29. Evaluating a negative Sharpe Ratio may be misleading, so we’ll avoid that. The ratio had stood at 0.07 for 2015, placing it second to last among its peers.

The information ratio, calculated with ACWX as the benchmark, was 0.46 for the one-year period ended February 29, placing it dead last among its peers. The information ratio shows the consistency of fund managers along with measuring their ability to generate excess returns over a benchmark. The higher the reading, the better the consistency. For 2015, the fund’s information ratio was ranked seventh.

A note to investors

Apart from the information ratio, the fund generated the least alpha for the one-year period ended February 29. For 2015, its alpha ranked tenth among its peers. These metrics, coupled with high volatility, do not paint a favorable picture of the fund. Though the fund’s turnover is low, other metrics fail to instill confidence in the offering.


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