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How To Find The Best Sector Mutual Funds 4Q22



With an ever-growing list of similar-sounding mutual funds to choose from, finding the best is an increasingly difficult task. How can investors change the game to shift the odds in their favor?

Don’t Trust Mutual Fund Labels

There are at least 169 different Real Estate mutual funds and at least 673 mutual funds across eleven sectors. Do investors need 61+ choices on average per sector? How different can the mutual funds be?

Those 169 Real Estate mutual funds are very different from one another. With anywhere from 23 to 167 holdings, many of these Real Estate mutual funds have drastically different portfolios with differing risk profiles and performance outlooks.

The same is true for the mutual funds in any other sector, as each offers a very distinct mix of good and bad stocks. Basic Materials ranks first for stock selection. Real Estate ranks last.


Avoiding Analysis Paralysis

I think the large number of sector mutual funds hurts investors more than it helps. Manually conducting a deep analysis for every fund is simply not a realistic option, exposing investors to insufficient analysis and causing them to miss profitable opportunities. Analyzing mutual funds properly is far more difficult than analyzing stocks because it means analyzing all the stocks within each mutual fund. As stated above, there can be as many as 167 stocks or more for one mutual fund.

Figure 1 shows the top rated mutual fund for each sector.

Figure 1: The Best Mutual Fund in Each Sector

* Best mutual funds exclude funds with TNAs less than $100 million for inadequate liquidity


Amongst the mutual funds in Figure 1, Fidelity Advisor Global Commodity Stock Fund (FIQRX) ranks first overall, Fidelity Select Banking Portfolio (FSRBX) ranks second, and Schwab Health Care Fund (SWHFX) ranks third. CGM Realty Fund (CGMRX) ranks last.

How to Avoid “The Danger Within”

Why do you need to know the holdings of mutual funds before you buy?

A mutual fund is nothing more than the sum of its component parts – if you don’t understand what it’s made of, you ultimately won’t understand what you’re buying. It would belike buying a stock without analyzing its business and finances. No matter how cheap, if it holds bad stocks, the mutual fund’s performance will be bad.


If Only Investors Could Find Funds Rated by Their Holdings

Fidelity Advisor Global Commodity Stock Fund (FIQRX) is not only the top-rated Energy mutual fund, but is also the overall top ranked sector mutual fund out of the 673 sector mutual funds that my firm covers.

The worst mutual fund in Figure 1 is CGM Realty Fund (CGMRX), which gets an Unattractive rating. One would think mutual fund providers could do better for this sector.

Disclosure: David Trainer, Kyle Guske II, and Matt Shuler receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, sector, or theme.


Source: Forbes

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