Is American Funds Fundamental Investors A (ANCFX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

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If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Equity Report funds, it would not be wise to start your search with American Funds Fundamental Investors A (ANCFX). ANCFX bears a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 4 (Sell), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

American Funds is responsible for ANCFX, and the company is based out of Los Angeles, CA. Since American Funds Fundamental Investors A made its debut in July of 1978, ANCFX has garnered more than $70.65 billion in assets. The fund’s current manager is a team of investment professionals.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund carries a 5-year annualized total return of 11.62%, and is in the bottom third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 14.64%, 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. Compared to the category average of 14.8%, the standard deviation of ANCFX over the past three years is 17.74%. Looking at the past 5 years, the fund’s standard deviation is 15.67% compared to the category average of 13.12%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

Risk Factors

The fund has a 5-year beta of 0.97, so investors should note that it is hypothetically as volatile as 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. Over the past 5 years, the fund has a negative alpha of -3.3. This means 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, ANCFX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.59% compared to the category average of 0.92%. From a cost perspective, ANCFX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $250; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Funds Fundamental Investors A ( ANCFX ) has a low Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat weak choice for investors right now.

Don’t stop here for your research on Mutual Fund Equity Report 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 ANCFX to its peers as well for additional information. If you want to check out our stock reports as well, make sure to go to Zacks.com to see all of the great tools we have to offer, including our time-tested Zacks Rank.

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