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

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If you have been looking for Non US - Equity fund category, a potential starting could be Fidelity Series International Small Cap (FSTSX - Free Report) . FSTSX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

Zacks categorizes FSTSX as Non US - Equity, a segment stacked high with options. Non US - Equity mutual funds like to invest in companies outside of the United States, an important characteristic since global mutual funds are known to keep a good portion of their portfolio stateside. These kinds of funds can often extend across all cap levels, and will typically allocate their investments between emerging and developed markets.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FSTSX. Fidelity Series International Small Cap made its debut in December of 2009, and since then, FSTSX has accumulated about $3.12 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.13%, and is 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 4.5%, 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, FSTSX's standard deviation comes in at 11.86%, compared to the category average of 12.62%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 10.88% compared to the category average of 12.65%. 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.

Nevertheless, with a 5-year beta of 0.73, the fund is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. FSTSX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.9, demonstrating that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

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, FSTSX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.01% compared to the category average of 1.25%. From a cost perspective, FSTSX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $0; each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Series International Small Cap ( FSTSX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about FSTSX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.




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