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Is Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?


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Having trouble finding an Allocation Balanced fund? Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX) is a potential starting point. FPURX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FPURX is one of many Zacks' Allocation Balanced mutual funds to pick from. Allocation Balanced funds seek to invest in a balance of asset types, like stocks, bonds, and cash, though including precious metals or commodities is not unusual; these funds are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. Investors utilize Allocation Balanced funds as a way to get a good start with diversified mutual funds, as well as for core holdings in a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

FPURX finds itself in the Fidelity family, based out of Boston, MA. The Fidelity Puritan Fund made its debut in April of 1947 and FPURX has managed to accumulate roughly $21.49 billion in assets, as of the most recently available information. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 7.47%, 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 10.23%, 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. FPURX's standard deviation over the past three years is 8.83% compared to the category average of 8.3%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 8.7% compared to the category average of 8.54%. This makes the fund more 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. FPURX lost 37.9% in the most recent bear market and underperformed comparable funds by 2%. These results could imply that the fund is a worse choice than its peers during a sliding market environment.

Investors should not forget about beta, an important way to measure a mutual fund's risk compared to the market as a whole. FPURX has a 5-year beta of 0.7, which means it is likely to be less volatile than the market average. 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. FPURX has generated a negative alpha over the past five years of -0.33, 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, FPURX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.53% compared to the category average of 0.89%. From a cost perspective, FPURX 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 Puritan Fund ( FPURX ) 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.

This could just be the start of your research on FPURXin the Allocation Balanced category. Consider going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for additional information about this fund, and all the others that we rank 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.





This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: FPURX



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