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

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Having trouble finding a Sector - Health fund? Well, Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals (FPHAX - Free Report) would not be a good potential starting point right now. FPHAX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes FPHAX 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

Fidelity is responsible for FPHAX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Since Fidelity Select Pharmaceuticals made its debut in June of 2001, FPHAX has garnered more than $885.40 million in assets. Karim Suwwan de Felipe is the fund's current manager and has held that role since July of 2017.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FPHAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 11.83% 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 14.92%, 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. The standard deviation of FPHAX over the past three years is 15.15% compared to the category average of 19.11%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 13.82% compared to the category average of 17.08%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FPHAX has a 5-year beta of 0.68, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. FPHAX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -0.26, which means 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 0.76% compared to the category average of 1.32%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FPHAX 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 Select Pharmaceuticals ( FPHAX ) has a low 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 weak 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. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.


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