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

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There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Equity Report category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that might be worth investigating is Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A (FKRCX - Free Report) . FKRCX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is responsible for FKRCX, and the company is based out of San Mateo, CA. Since Franklin Gold & Precious Metals A made its debut in May of 1969, FKRCX has garnered more than $835.99 million in assets. Steve Land is the fund's current manager and has held that role since April of 1999.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 8.85%, and it sits 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 23.66%, 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 38.54% compared to the category average of 20.66%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 32.28% compared to the category average of 17.9%. 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, which means it is hypothetically 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 negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.61, which shows that 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, FKRCX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.89% compared to the category average of 1.34%. So, FKRCX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

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.

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 FKRCX too 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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