Is Fidelity Asset Manager 70% (FASGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Any investors hoping to find an Allocation Balanced fund could think about starting with Fidelity Asset Manager 70% (FASGX). FASGX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Zacks’ Allocation Balanced funds is an area filled with options, such as FASGX. These funds like to invest in a variety of asset types, finding a balance between stocks, bonds, cash, and sometimes even precious metals and commodities; they are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. For investors, Allocation Balanced funds can provide an entry point into diversified mutual funds, and present core holding options for a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FASGX. The Fidelity Asset Manager 70% made its debut in December of 1991 and FASGX has managed to accumulate roughly $4.67 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Geoffrey Stein who has been in charge of the fund since June of 2009.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FASGX has a 5-year annualized total return of 12.38% and it sits 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 12.82%, 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. FASGX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 14.4% compared to the category average of 12.92%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 11.52% compared to the category average of 10.48%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.74, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. FASGX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.1, demonstrating 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, FASGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.66% compared to the category average of 0.89%. So, FASGX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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 Asset Manager 70% ( FASGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Asset Manager 70% ( FASGX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Allocation Balanced, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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