Is Gabelli Utilities AAA (GABUX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should not consider taking a look at Gabelli Utilities AAA (GABUX) at this time. GABUX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Gabelli Funds is based in Rye, NY, and is the manager of GABUX. Since Gabelli Utilities AAA made its debut in January of 2002, GABUX has garnered more than $283.37 million in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund’s current manager.


Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 6.82%, and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 5.94%, which places it in the top 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 14.95%, the standard deviation of GABUX over the past three years is 13.83%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 11.8% compared to the category average of 12.67%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.57, so investors should note that it is hypothetically 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -3.15, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.


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, GABUX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.36% compared to the category average of 1.23%. GABUX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Gabelli Utilities AAA ( GABUX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, Gabelli Utilities AAA ( GABUX ) looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on GABUXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank 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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