Is Fidelity Real Estate Investment (FRESX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Sector – Real Estate fund? Fidelity Real Estate Investment (FRESX) is a potential starting point. FRESX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

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Objective

FRESX is one of many Sector – Real Estate funds to choose from. Sector – Real Estate mutual funds are known to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs). A popular income vehicle thanks to its taxation rules, a REIT is required to pay out at least 90% of its income annually to avoid double taxation. This technique makes securities in these funds high dividend players, and even bond-like in some instances, though their risk is similar to equities.

History of Fund/Manager

FRESX finds itself in the Fidelity family, based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity Real Estate Investment debuted in November of 1986. Since then, FRESX has accumulated assets of about $5.52 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Steve Buller who has been in charge of the fund since December of 1997.

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 6.62%, and is 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 9.86%, 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. FRESX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 18.36% compared to the category average of 18.69%. The fund’s standard deviation over the past 5 years is 15.55% compared to the category average of 15.75%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund’s risk compared to the market as a whole. FRESX has a 5-year beta of 0.76, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -5.27, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

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, FRESX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.74% compared to the category average of 1.22%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FRESX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Real Estate Investment ( FRESX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Real Estate Investment ( FRESX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about FRESX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio – both funds and stocks – in the most efficient way possible.

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