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Is Fidelity International Small Cap (FISMX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Having trouble finding a Non US - Equity fund? Fidelity International Small Cap (FISMX - Free Report) is a potential starting point. FISMX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FISMX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FISMX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity International Small Cap debuted in September of 2002. Since then, FISMX has accumulated assets of about $1.42 billion, according to the most recently available information. The fund is currently managed by Sam Chamovitz who has been in charge of the fund since March of 2014.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 14.38%, and it sits 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 13.73%, 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. Over the past three years, FISMX's standard deviation comes in at 10.07%, compared to the category average of 9.49%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 10.53% compared to the category average of 12.08%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors cannot discount the risks to this segment though, as it is always important to remember the downside for any potential investment. In FISMX's case, the fund lost 58.46% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 0.09%. This could mean that the fund is a worse choice than comparable funds during a bear market.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.76, 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. FISMX has generated a positive alpha over the past five years of 2.97, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking 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, FISMX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.26% compared to the category average of 1.32%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FISMX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity International Small Cap FISMX 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.

Your research on the Non US - Equity segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. And don't forget, Zacks has all of your needs covered on the equity side too! Make sure to check out Zacks.com for more information on our screening capabilities, Rank, and all our articles as well.




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