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Is Fidelity Series International Small Cap (FSTSX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Zacks Equity Research

If you have been looking for Non US - Equity funds, a place to start could be Fidelity Series International Small Cap (FSTSX). FSTSX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

FSTSX is classified in the Non US - Equity area by Zacks, and this segment is full of potential. Non US - Equity funds focus their investments on companies outside of the United States, which is an important distinction since global mutual funds tend to keep a sizable portion of their portfolio based in the United States. Most of these funds will allocate across emerging and developed markets, and can often extend across cap levels too.

History of Fund/Manager

Fidelity is responsible for FSTSX, and the company is based out of Boston, MA. Since Fidelity Series International Small Cap made its debut in December of 2009, FSTSX has garnered more than $3.90 billion in assets. 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 9.86%, and is in the top 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 14.42%, 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. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 11.34% compared to the category average of 1.25%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

One cannot ignore the volatility of this segment, however, as it is always important for investors to remember the downside to any potential investment.

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.74, 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. The fund has produced a positive alpha over the past 5 years of 1.04, which shows that managers in this portfolio are skilled in picking securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, FSTSX is a no load fund and it has an expense ratio of 0.01%.

This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

This puts this fund from Fidelity in the top 20% of all mutual funds we have a rank on right now. As a result, this is likely an excellent choice for investors seeking an option in the Non US - Equity category.

This could just be the start of your research on FSTSXin the Non US - Equity 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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