Is FIHBX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

There are plenty of choices in the Mutual Fund Bond category, but where should you start your research? Well, one fund that you should consider investigating is Federated Institutional High Yield Bond (FIHBX). FIHBX 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

Federated is responsible for FIHBX, and the company is based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Federated Institutional High Yield Bond made its debut in November of 2002, and since then, FIHBX has accumulated about $5.46 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. 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 4.97%, 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 1.65%, which places it in the middle 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 FIHBX over the past three years is 8.3% compared to the category average of 10.98%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 9.25% compared to the category average of 12.11%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

This fund has a beta of 0.21, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, FIHBX has a positive alpha of 4, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

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, FIHBX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.49% compared to the category average of 0.93%. FIHBX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

Investors should also note that the minimum initial investment for the product is $1 million 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, Federated Institutional High Yield Bond ( FIHBX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively similar performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Federated Institutional High Yield Bond ( FIHBX ) looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Don't stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Bond funds. We also have plenty more on our site in order to help you find the best possible fund for your portfolio. Make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds for more information about the world of funds, and feel free to compare FIHBX to its peers as well for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.

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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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