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Is Fidelity International Real Estate (FIREX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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On the lookout for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund? Starting with Fidelity International Real Estate (FIREX - Free Report) is one possibility. FIREX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FIREX. Fidelity International Real Estate made its debut in December of 2004, and since then, FIREX has accumulated about $361.35 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Guillermo de las Casas, has been in charge of the fund since April of 2010.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 11.6%, 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 12.61%, 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. FIREX's standard deviation over the past three years is 15.18% compared to the category average of 15.74%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 12.88% compared to the category average of 13.01%. 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 0.67, 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.42, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

For investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, FIREX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.96% compared to the category average of 1.22%. From a cost perspective, FIREX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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 International Real Estate ( FIREX ) 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.

This could just be the start of your research on FIREXin the Mutual Fund Equity Report category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank as well 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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