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Fidelity Favorites for Home Abroad

Manager Jean Park came aboard Fidelity Growth Strategies Fund (FDEGX) six years ago, explains mutual fund expert John Bonnanzio, editor of Fidelity Monitor & Insight.

Relative to her Russell Midcap Growth benchmark (which she mimics only in terms of sector weightings), her first three years were her best owing to superior stock-picking.

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Among Fidelity’s mid-cap options, by far and away, the Harvard and Wharton-educated manager has the best absolute record—one that looks even better when viewed on a risk-adjusted basis.

That’s important to us, especially in our portfolio construction. So, it’s one of several reasons why Fidelity Growth Strategies is held in both our Unique Opportunities and Growth Model portfolios.

(We note that Jean Park is also co-manager with Will Danoff on Fidelity VIP Contrafund (FDPFC), which has been a mainstay in our Annuity Growth & Income as well as our Income model portfolios.)

In terms of investment strategy, Jean says her “focus is on owning higher-quality stocks with below average valuations … emphasizing companies with high relative free cash-flow.”

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In other words, Growth Strategies has a value component which, at times, has been a hindrance given the market’s appetite for growth—regardless of price. Nonetheless, stock picking improved last quarter, helping to drive Growth Strategies up 28.6% for the year-to-date.

The top five holdings in this fund are: Total System Services (TSS); VeriSign (VRSN); Roper Technologies (ROP); Fiserv (FISV); and WellCare Health Plans (WCG).

Patience and tweaking the fund’s edges helped, including a tiny increase in tech, all while adhering to her discipline of holding mid- to large-cap stocks with sound fundamentals and whose shares are selling at a reasonable price. We rate Fidelity Growth Strategies "buy".