Is Franklin Income C (FCISX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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Allocation Balanced fund seekers should not consider taking a look at Franklin Income C (FCISX) at this time. FCISX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

The world of Zacks’ Allocation Balanced funds is an area filled with options, such as FCISX. These funds like to invest in a variety of asset types, finding a balance between stocks, bonds, cash, and sometimes even precious metals and commodities; they are mostly categorized by their respective asset allocation. For investors, Allocation Balanced funds can provide an entry point into diversified mutual funds, and present core holding options for a portfolio of funds.

History of Fund/Manager

Franklin Templeton is responsible for FCISX, and the company is based out of San Mateo, CA. Franklin Income C made its debut in May of 1995, and since then, FCISX has accumulated about $9.44 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. FCISX has a 5-year annualized total return of 8.13% and it sits 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 5.34%, which places it in the bottom 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. FCISX’s standard deviation over the past three years is 11.91% compared to the category average of 14.14%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 9.95% compared to the category average of 11.76%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

Investors should note that the fund has a 5-year beta of 0.59, which means it is hypothetically less volatile than the market at large. Another factor to consider is alpha, as it reflects a portfolio’s performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark-in this case, the S&P 500. With a negative alpha of -2, 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, FCISX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.10% compared to the category average of 0.89%. FCISX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Franklin Income C ( FCISX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a poor potential choice for investors right now.

This could just be the start of your research on FCISXin 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. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place.

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