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Is Fidelity Asset Manager 40% (FFANX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you've been stuck searching for Allocation Balanced funds, consider Fidelity Asset Manager 40% (FFANX - Free Report) as a possibility. FFANX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Zacks' Allocation Balanced funds is an area filled with options, such as FFANX. These funds like to invest in a variety of asset types, finding a balance between stocks, bonds, cash, and sometimes even precious metals and commodities; they are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. For investors, Allocation Balanced funds can provide an entry point into diversified mutual funds, and present core holding options for a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FFANX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. The Fidelity Asset Manager 40% made its debut in October of 2007 and FFANX has managed to accumulate roughly $2.26 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. Geoffrey Stein is the fund's current manager and has held that role since June of 2009.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FFANX has a 5-year annualized total return of 8.52% 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 9.18%, 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 13.98%, the standard deviation of FFANX over the past three years is 9.03%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 7.26% compared to the category average of 11.53%. 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 0.45, 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 0.16, which shows that 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, FFANX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.51% compared to the category average of 0.89%. From a cost perspective, FFANX is actually cheaper than its peers.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Asset Manager 40% ( FFANX ) 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.

For additional information on the Allocation Balanced area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into FFANX too 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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