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Is Fidelity Pacific Basin (FPBFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you've been stuck searching for Pacific Rim - Equity funds, consider Fidelity Pacific Basin (FPBFX - Free Report) as a possibility. FPBFX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FPBFX is classified in the Pacific Rim - Equity segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Pacific Rim - Equity mutual funds see big investment opportunities in the dominant export-focused markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea. These funds also invest less than 10% of their assets in Japanese firms, as Japan mutual funds are very popular.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FPBFX. Since Fidelity Pacific Basin made its debut in October of 1986, FPBFX has garnered more than $1.31 billion in assets. 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 has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 16.1%, and is 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 13.63%, 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. FPBFX's standard deviation over the past three years is 16.9% compared to the category average of 18.13%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 14.19% compared to the category average of 15.11%. 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 0.74, so it is likely going to be 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. FPBFX's 5-year performance has produced a positive alpha of 3.79, which means managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, FPBFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.10% compared to the category average of 1.40%. So, FPBFX 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 Pacific Basin ( FPBFX ) 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.

Your research on the Pacific Rim - Equity segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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