The American Funds Washington Mutual A (AWSHX) is a growth and income fund from the American Funds division of Capital Group. Capital Group, founded in 1931, is a privately owned asset manager based in Los Angeles, California. The firm has assets under management (AUM) of more than $1.39 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2015. It offers a range of financial management and consulting services to corporations, pension plans, individual investors and high net worth individuals. The American Funds family of mutual funds is the oldest division of Capital Group and the base of its business. The mutual funds are marketed exclusively through brokers and financial advisors.

Portfolio Management

The American Funds Washington Mutual A has seven portfolio managers supported by a team of analysts. The portfolio managers have an average of 8.9 years of experience with the fund and an average of 25 years working at Capital Group. Managers follow the basic Capital Group philosophy of value investing and preservation of capital. However, a unique style of portfolio management ensures that all styles of investment analysis, including quantitative and qualitative, are used.

American Funds uses a team approach when discussing possible investments and an individual approach when it comes to actually making the investments. The fund’s portfolio is divided into multiple portions, and each portfolio manager makes individual decisions on how to invest the assigned portion. Analysts who work with portfolio managers are also given a portion of assets to invest as each sees fit. The theory is that if each individual is investing according to his or her own best ideas, the entire portfolio benefits.

Portfolio Characteristics

Fund managers do not invest in companies that are primarily in the alcohol or tobacco industries. The fund has the objective to provide capital growth along with a growing stream of income. The fund invests almost entirely in the equity securities of large-cap US. companies.

The fund’s largest holding is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) in which it has invested 5.2% of net assets. The fund is invested in 137 other companies, with 32.4% of net assets concentrated in the top 10 holdings. 53.9% of net assets are evenly distributed between the financial, industrial, information technology and consumer discretionary sectors. The fund has a beta of 0.90 and a portfolio turnover rate of 24%.

Class A Shares (AWSHX)

AWSHX, denotes the fund's Class A shares. Class A shares have a front-end sales load. The sales load starts at 5.75% and decreases, according to the amount investor puts into the fund, until it reaches 0% at an investment of $1 million. The fund also has an expense ratio of 0.58%, which is about half the average fee for growth and income funds. The sales charge and the 12b-1 fee of 0.25% are used to compensate financial advisors and brokers.

Performance

The fund has a Morningstar rating of four stars and is rated as medium risk. Performance figures are based on data reported as of Jan. 31, 2016, and are based on the return on net asset value (NAV) and on the full sales load.

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