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Is Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A (FKRCX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should consider taking a look at Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A (FKRCX - Free Report) . FKRCX 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

FKRCX is a part of the Franklin Templeton family of funds, a company based out of San Mateo, CA. Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A debuted in May of 1969. Since then, FKRCX has accumulated assets of about $842.95 million, according to the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Steve Land, has been in charge of the fund since April of 1999.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FKRCX has a 5-year annualized total return of 10.65% 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 31.63%, 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. The standard deviation of FKRCX over the past three years is 37.88% compared to the category average of 20.26%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 31.97% compared to the category average of 17.12%. 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 1.03, so it is likely going to be as volatile as the market at large. 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. FKRCX's 5-year performance has produced a negative alpha of -3.38, which means managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick 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, FKRCX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.90% compared to the category average of 1.37%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FKRCX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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 Gold & Precious Metals A ( FKRCX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse 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 FKRCXin 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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