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3 Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds to Buy in Current Times

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Franklin Resources, Inc., better known as Franklin Templeton, is currently based out of San Mateo, CA, and has a reputation for offering customized solutions for individual needs. Having commenced business in 1947 in New York as Franklin Distributors, Inc., the company provides a range of funds but is historically best known for bond funds under the Franklin brand, international funds under the Templeton brand and value funds under the Mutual Series brand.

Its available funds span across a wide range of asset types, such as equity, balanced portfolio, fixed income, hybrid and thematic investments. This diversified selection allows various options to develop a well-rounded and comprehensive investment plan.

The company had assets under management of about $1.64 trillion as of Mar 31, 2024, up $189.2 billion or 13% through the quarter due to $148.3 billion from the acquisition of Putnam Investments. Franklin Templeton joined the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund race in September 2023 by filing an application with the SEC, proposing a Coinbase-custodied ETF that would trade on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. These were approved in January. It also applied for an Ethereum spot ETF in February, which was approved late last week.

Franklin Templeton’s proven risk management practices to temper down potential risks linked with market fluctuations also come to the fore in the current environment, with the markets rising and falling on the Fed’s monetary policy moves. Its broad range of funds, investment approach and impressive past results have reinforced its reputation as a trustworthy option for building a diverse portfolio. The company's venture into the crypto space and private credit also opens up new dimensions for it.

Investing in these mutual funds may provide the much-required stability and growth potential in a market that is expected to remain volatile for a while. Hence, astute investors should consider such funds at present. Mutual funds, in general, reduce transaction costs and diversify portfolios without an array of commission charges that are mostly associated with stock purchases (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money).

We have thus selected three mutual funds that boast a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), have positive three-year and five-year annualized returns and minimum initial investments within $5000, as well as carry a low expense ratio.

Franklin Income Fund (FRIAX - Free Report) seeks to invest in a diversified portfolio of debt and equity securities. While the equity securities that FRIAX advisors invest in are primarily common stock, they prefer debt securities that are below investment grade.

Edward D. Perks has been the lead manager of FRIAX since April 2002. The three top holdings for FRIAX are 1.5% in Chevron, 1.2% in Lockheed Martin and 0.9% in Texas Instruments.

FRIAX’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 3.6% and 5.5%, respectively, and its net expense ratio is 0.46%. FRIAX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #2. To see how this fund performed compared to its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.

Franklin High Income Fund (FVHIX - Free Report) invests primarily in a portfolio of high-yield yet lower-rated debt securities. For its investment purposes, FVHIX may invest all of its total assets in debt securities that are rated below investment grade.

Glenn I. Voyles has been the lead manager of FVHIX since April 2015. The three top holdings for FVHIX are 1.2% in Martin Midstream, 1.1% in Mauser Packaging and 1% in Endeavor Energy.

FVHIX’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 2.7% and 4.2%, respectively, and its net expense ratio is 0.60%. FVHIX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #2.

Franklin Natural Resources Fund (FNRAX - Free Report) seeks capital growth and primarily invests its assets in equity and debt securities of companies in the natural resources segment. FNRAX invests a significant portion of its assets in small-cap companies.

Steve M. Land has been the lead manager of FNRAX since March 1999. The three top holdings for FNRAX are 4.8% in Chevron, 4.6% in ConocoPhillips and 4% in Exxon Mobil.

FNRAX’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 18.2% and 7.9%, respectively, and its net expense ratio is 0.76%. FNRAX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1.

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