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Is Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you're looking for a Mutual Fund Equity Report fund category, then a potential option is Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX - Free Report) . FCNTX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

FCNTX is a part of the Fidelity family of funds, a company based out of Boston, MA. The Fidelity Contrafund made its debut in May of 1967 and FCNTX has managed to accumulate roughly $128.73 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Will Danoff who has been in charge of the fund since September of 1990.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 22.64%, and it sits in the middle third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 28.96%, which places it in the middle 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 FCNTX over the past three years is 17.69% compared to the category average of 17.27%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 16.3% compared to the category average of 14.7%. 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 0.99, so it is likely going to be as volatile as the market at large. Alpha is an additional metric to take into consideration, since it represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which in this case, is the S&P 500. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 3.8, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Holdings

Examining 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 mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.

As of the last filing date, the mutual fund has 87.58% of its assets in stocks, which have an average market capitalization of $538.30 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors:

  1. Technology
  2. Retail Trade
  3. Finance
Turnover is about 31%, so those in charge of the fund make fewer trades than the average comparable fund.

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, FCNTX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.81% compared to the category average of 1.01%. FCNTX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Contrafund ( FCNTX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Contrafund ( FCNTX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Equity Report 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 FCNTX too 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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