Is Fidelity Select Biotechnology (FBIOX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

If you’ve been stuck searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, consider Fidelity Select Biotechnology (FBIOX) as a possibility. FBIOX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

FBIOX finds itself in the Fidelity family, based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity Select Biotechnology made its debut in December of 1985, and since then, FBIOX has accumulated about $4.86 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Rajiv Kaul who has been in charge of the fund since October of 2005.

Performance

Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 3.04%, and it sits in the bottom third among its category peers. If you’re interested in shorter time frames, do not dismiss looking at the fund’s 3-year annualized total return of 1.36%, which places it in the bottom 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 FBIOX over the past three years is 24.99% compared to the category average of 18.9%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 23.88% compared to the category average of 18.15%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 0.93, 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. FBIOX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -5.42, demonstrating 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, FBIOX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared to the category average of 1.30%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FBIOX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $0 and that each subsequent investment has no minimum amount.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Select Biotechnology ( FBIOX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, worse downside risk, and lower fees, Fidelity Select Biotechnology ( FBIOX ) looks like a great potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on this product, or to compare it to other mutual funds in the Mutual Fund Equity Report, make sure to go to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds 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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