Is Fidelity Select Environmental & Alternative (FSLEX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Having trouble finding a Sector - Other fund? Fidelity Select Environmental & Alternative (FSLEX) is a possible starting point. FSLEX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FSLEX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Fidelity Select Environmental & Alternative made its debut in June of 1989, and since then, FSLEX has accumulated about $509.44 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Douglas Simmons who has been in charge of the fund since February of 2009.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 10.05%, 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 3.54%, which places it in the bottom third during this time-frame.

It is important to note that the product's returns may not reflect all its expenses. Any fees not reflected would lower the returns. Total returns do not reflect the fund's [%] sale charge. If sales charges were included, total returns would have been lower.

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 FSLEX over the past three years is 22.14% compared to the category average of 21.93%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 23.42% compared to the category average of 23.88%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

With a 5-year beta of 1.18, the fund is likely to be more 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. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -3.99, which shows 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, FSLEX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.82% compared to the category average of 0.86%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FSLEX 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.

Fees charged by investment advisors have not been taken into considiration. Returns would be less if those were included.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fidelity Select Environmental & Alternative ( FSLEX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Sector - Other area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into FSLEX too for additional information. Zacks provides a full suite of tools to help you analyze your portfolio - both funds and stocks - in the most efficient way possible.

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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.

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