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Is FEMDX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

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If investors are looking at the International Bond - Emerging fund category, Franklin Emerging Market Debt Opportunity Adviser (FEMDX - Free Report) could be a potential option. FEMDX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that FEMDX is an International Bond - Emerging option, which is loaded with different choices. International Bond - Emerging funds focus on fixed income securities from a variety of emerging international markets. Typically, investors can expect exposure to economies like China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Indonesia, and many others. These funds are appealing because of their geographic diversification, but this can also mean that currency risk is a factor.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is based in San Mateo, CA, and is the manager of FEMDX. Franklin Emerging Market Debt Opportunity Adviser made its debut in October of 2006, and since then, FEMDX has accumulated about $105.41 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Nicholas Hardingham who has been in charge of the fund since June of 2014.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FEMDX has a 5-year annualized total return of 4.89% and is in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 1.51%, 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. FEMDX's standard deviation over the past three years is 11.23% compared to the category average of 11.68%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 9.56% compared to the category average of 10.02%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

FEMDX carries a beta of 0.26, meaning that the fund is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. With this in mind, it has a positive alpha of 3.16, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, FEMDX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1% compared to the category average of 1.14%. From a cost perspective, FEMDX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1 million, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Franklin Emerging Market Debt Opportunity Adviser ( FEMDX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about FEMDX? 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. 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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