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Is Franklin Corefolio Allocation A (FTCOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you've been stuck searching for Allocation Balanced funds, consider Franklin Corefolio Allocation A (FTCOX - Free Report) as a possibility. FTCOX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FTCOX is classified in the Allocation Balanced segment by Zacks, which is an area full of possibilities. Here, investors are able to get a good head start with diversified mutual funds, and play around with core holding options for a portfolio of funds. Allocation Balanced funds look to invest across a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is based in San Mateo, CA, and is the manager of FTCOX. Franklin Corefolio Allocation A debuted in August of 2003. Since then, FTCOX has accumulated assets of about $887.68 million, according to the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. FTCOX has a 5-year annualized total return of 14.26% 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 13.7%, 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. FTCOX's standard deviation over the past three years is 18.58% compared to the category average of 15.88%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 14.95% compared to the category average of 13.03%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.98, so it is likely going to be as volatile as 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. FTCOX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -2.15, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Exploring the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is largely on equities that are traded in the United States.

Currently, this mutual fund is holding 85.44% stock in stocks and it has a negligible amount of assets in foreign securities. Turnover is about 9.29%, so those in charge of the fund make fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, FTCOX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.43% compared to the category average of 0.89%. So, FTCOX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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 Corefolio Allocation A ( FTCOX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Franklin Corefolio Allocation A ( FTCOX ) 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. 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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