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Is Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals (FPHAX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Have you been searching for a Sector - Health fund? You might want to begin with Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals (FPHAX - Free Report) . FPHAX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that FPHAX is a Sector - Health fund, and this area is also loaded with various options. Sector - Health mutual funds give investors an opportunity to focus on one of the largest sectors of the American economy, healthcare. Funds in this category can include everything from for-profit hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FPHAX. Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals debuted in June of 2001. Since then, FPHAX has accumulated assets of about $833.62 million, according to the most recently available information. Karim Suwwan de Felipe is the fund's current manager and has held that role since July of 2017.

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 10.35%, and is in the top 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 15.49%, 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. Over the past three years, FPHAX's standard deviation comes in at 15.57%, compared to the category average of 19.06%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 14.14% compared to the category average of 17.18%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.68, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. FPHAX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.9, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

Costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing, and particularly as competition heats up in this market. And all things being equal, a lower cost product will outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, so taking a closer look at these metrics is key for investors. In terms of fees, FPHAX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.77% compared to the category average of 1.34%. So, FPHAX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals ( FPHAX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals ( FPHAX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about FPHAX? 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. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.


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