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Is Fidelity Pacific Basin (FPBFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If investors are looking at the Pacific Rim - Equity fund category, Fidelity Pacific Basin (FPBFX - Free Report) could be a potential option. FPBFX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FPBFX is one of many Pacific Rim - Equity funds to choose from. Pacific Rim - Equity mutual funds typically invest in companies throughout the dominant export-focused markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea. Since Japan mutual funds are already popular in their own right, these Pacific funds will usually invest less than 10% of their assets in Japanese companies.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FPBFX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity Pacific Basin made its debut in October of 1986, and since then, FPBFX has accumulated about $761.65 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Kirk Neureiter, has been in charge of the fund since June of 2019.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 4.99%, and is 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 4.78%, 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. Compared to the category average of 14.48%, the standard deviation of FPBFX over the past three years is 14.99%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.08% compared to the category average of 14.96%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should always remember the downsides to a potential investment, and this segment carries some risks one should be aware of. In FPBFX's case, the fund lost 67.74% in the most recent bear market and underperformed its peer group by 9%. This means that the fund could possibly be a worse choice than its peers during a down market environment.

Even still, the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.84, so investors should note that it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -0.58. This means that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, FPBFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.97% compared to the category average of 1.47%. From a cost perspective, FPBFX is actually cheaper than its peers.

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

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Pacific Basin ( FPBFX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Pacific Basin ( FPBFX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Pacific Rim - 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. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.


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