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Is Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A (FBDIX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Any investors hoping to find a Sector - Health fund could think about starting with Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A (FBDIX - Free Report) . FBDIX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes FBDIX as Sector - Health, a segment packed with options. Sector - Health mutual funds offer investors a focus on the healthcare industry, one of the largest sectors in the American economy. These funds can include everything from pharmaceutical companies to medical device manufacturers and for-profit hospitals.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is based in San Mateo, CA, and is the manager of FBDIX. Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A made its debut in September of 1997, and since then, FBDIX has accumulated about $1.33 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

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 13.59%, 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 11.77%, 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 16.05%, the standard deviation of FBDIX over the past three years is 24.29%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 22.8% compared to the category average of 13.7%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 1, so investors should note that it is hypothetically as volatile as the market at large. 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. FBDIX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.86, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, FBDIX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.97% compared to the category average of 1.34%. FBDIX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $1,000; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A ( FBDIX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A ( FBDIX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Sector - Health funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare FBDIX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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