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Is Fidelity Overseas Fund (FOSFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for FOSFX

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

If you've been stuck searching for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, you might want to consider passing on by Fidelity Overseas Fund (FOSFX) as a possibility. FOSFX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 5 (Strong Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

- Zacks

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of FOSFX. The Fidelity Overseas Fund made its debut in December of 1984 and FOSFX has managed to accumulate roughly $8.80 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. The fund's current manager, Vincent Montemaggiore, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2012.

Performance

Of course, investors look for strong performance in funds. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 13.83%, and it sits in the middle 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 16.88%, which places it in the middle 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 16.56%, the standard deviation of FOSFX over the past three years is 16.76%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund's standard deviation is 14.62% compared to the category average of 13.81%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.86, so it is likely going to be less volatile than the market at large. 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. FOSFX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -1.27, 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, FOSFX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.98% compared to the category average of 1.18%. From a cost perspective, FOSFX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $0, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Overseas Fund ( FOSFX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak 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. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.



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