Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

    Support MFO

  • Donate through PayPal

Best of the Best Fidelity Funds to Buy

edited January 2020 in Fund Discussions

7 Best of the Best Fidelity Funds to Buy
These Fidelity funds are some of the best from the issuer's expansive lineup

Many investors think of Fidelity as a giant in the actively managed mutual funds space. That is true, but Fidelity funds run the gamut of actively-managed mutual funds to passive index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).


  • FBALX continues to be one of the best Fido OEFs while also being one of the most underappreciated/overlooked AA OEFs.
  • @stillers
    I agree with your observation of FBALX. At .53% E.R. and a since inception (1986) annualized return of about 9.3%; well, if one is doing better than this, then stick with your plan. If one wants to retire from meddling with their portfolio; this fund, as well as whatever moderate allocation funds one has access to, may provide your managed account choice without the need of an advisor.
    I read through the article, and perhaps some folks have or still do consider Fidelity to be pricey. If so, they have not done their homework and also do not understand or know the history of Fidelity and its positive impact upon the investing marketplace helping provide the diverse and inexpensive investments available to the small, individual investor today.
    Fidelity, along with Vanguard and Schwab placed enormous pressure into the diversity and pricing of mutual funds, especially during the 1980's. Their actions then (forcing the high loads on mutual funds of companies as Merrill Lynch and the rest to have to re-do these fees or lose customers) and today; with their continued pricing and offerings pressures still to the benefit of the small, individual investor.
    As to the choices in the article, well; as usual, everyone will make their appropriate choices.
    Disclosure: A Fidelity customer for more than 40 years and biased to the favorable side of investing with them.
  • FCPGX-Fidelity Small Cap Growth, About 2 years ago my investment advisor added it. I don't know specifically how it has performed except It's OK.
  • @ron
    From Jan 3, 2018 to Jan. 2, 2020; about 29.6% total return for FCPGX.
  • catch22 said:

    I agree with your observation of FBALX....
    Disclosure: A Fidelity customer for more than 40 years and biased to the favorable side of investing with them.

    Great post, and ditto on your last comment.

  • FPURX has changed to a virtual clone of FBALX , although Puritan seems to have only 1 manager.
  • I'm usually a bit hesitant to consider two funds clones unless they have the same managers and their portfolios have very similar attributes and holdings. Puritan not only has just a single manager while Balanced has ten, Puritan's manager isn't even one of those ten.

    While I agree that there is huge overlap between the portfolios, the mixtures are significantly different. Puritan has an average market cap of $112B, while Balanced's is a smaller $73B. Puritan is a growth-heavy fund (54% growth stocks), while Balanced is a bit more shall we say balanced, with 33% growth, 26% value. Puritan's turnover, at 132% is double that of Balanced's 60%, but that high turnover could just be the result of a new manager having overhauled the portfolio in the past 1.5 years.

    On the other hand, management at Balanced turns over frequently enough that even if the two funds are clones today, Balanced will turn into something else tomorrow.

    Consider FZIPX which is lauded in the column, and FSMAX. They both are extended market index funds. However, they follow different indexes and have different attributes. Good candidates for substitution, but not clones. In fact, because FZIPX has a cash component 26x as large as FSMAX's, its cash drag alone costs more than any savings that FZIPX offers with a zero ER.

    So even index funds where management is much less of an issue may not be clones. And there's more to finding good funds than picking the ones with rock bottom costs. Which is what the author of this column seems to have done.
  • I agree with others about FBALX. it’s been the core holding in my IRA for about 20 years.
  • @msf noted these indexes and there are other "new" indexes Fidelity has introduced during the past few years..........these are managed by GEODE.
  • I believe all Fidelity's index funds, new and old, are managed by Geode. That company was created by Fidelity and later spun off - a fact not mentioned on its history page.

    WSJ, Aug 5, 2003: "Fidelity Investments said it spun off an in-house investment firm ... Fidelity, the nation's largest mutual-fund firm, launched the company, called Geode Investors LLC, two years ago."

    There was a thread recently that discussed voting records of fund families. The article cited in that thread said that Fidelity's index funds had a decent record. The reason for that is Geode. Geode has been voting the proxies for the Fidelity funds it manages. As I recall, even back in the 2000's, Geode had a better voting record than Fidelity.
  • BAML's Savita Subramaniam recommended following 8 sectors for 2020 which I dipped into yesterday and today a bit using Fido proxies (if I had known US was going to assassinate Iranian general, I would have held off, and now am holding off for a bit)


    I would think FSENX might hold up. FSUTX and FSPHX might too. The rest could be toast.
  • Interesting take on FBALX from M*:

    This fund lacks a competitive advantage. Summary by Greg Carlson Nov 14, 2019

    "An unstable manager lineup and an undistinguished process earn a downgrade of the Morningstar Analyst Rating of Fidelity Balanced to Neutral across its share classes.

    This fund is led by Robert Stansky, who can make shifts of 10 percentage points to its neutral allocation of 60% stocks/40% bonds. The equity portfolio maintains a sector-neutral position...."

    (this is all I can access without a premium membership)

    As catch 22 noted above the fund has returned 5.35% over the past year, 9.53% over the past 3 years, 7.97% over the past 5 years and 10.34% over the past 10 years. Feelin' lucky punk? I would like to read more just to see what this guys issues are with the fund and what he proposes as better substitutes. I'm almost willing to bet that it begins with 'Vanguard'. I'll forgive him a bit if it's PRWCX but only a bit because it's closed. This is why we (I) tune out analyst noise for the most part.
  • Morn'in @Mark

    Kinda strange many times where these folks (in this case, your Greg Carlson notation) obtain their take or bias or whatever helps them form an opinion. I don't understand his statement about Fidelity management of this fund, FBALX. Perhaps Greg should look at the chart below. You, I and many here do the grain of salt thing when reading where we should or should not be investing our monies, eh? Continuing edumacation, yes?
    Anyway, just for the heck of it; I picked a few balanced funds to chart back to Nov. 2008 (this limit because of etf, AOM inception). This is a random selection of funds, most well known, that popped into my head. I have not done any analysis as to how these match up; but are generally in the 70-50% allocation for equity to the best of my knowledge. Eight are active managed, one etf and one index.
    For those I've known over the years and don't want to make things worse from their own meddling, I always suggest a look at these type of funds.

    Charts below are total return for the period.

    First chart is 5 listings with the names at the fop of the chart.

    This chart is a bit busy, with the first 5; and another 5 added.

    Have a good remainder............back to me chores.
  • edited January 2020

    FBALX - Asset Allocation
    Rel Vol of 0.73
    2019 - 2.4% in Dec 24.4% for year 11.6% for 3 yr. 8.4% for 5 yr 10.0% for 10 yr
    I would call it a keeper - If I had a spot!



    Douglas Simmons
    since 9/9/2008
    Pierre Sorel
    since 9/9/2008
    Robert E Stansky
    since 9/9/2008
    Steven Kaye
    since 9/9/2008
    Brian Lempel
    since 4/10/2013
    John Mirshekari
    since 10/22/2016
    Nicola Stafford
    since 8/3/2017
    Jody Simes
    since 11/8/2019
    Ashley Fernandes
    since 1/1/2020
    Melissa M Reilly
    since 1/1/2020
Sign In or Register to comment.