GASFX - FBR Gas Utility Index Investor

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FBR Gas Utility Index Investor (GASFX)
Expense Ratio: 0.71%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $21,790.09

The FBR Gas Utility Index Investor fund (GASFX) is a Utilities fund started on 05/10/1989 and has $603.10 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running FBR Gas Utility Index Investor since 01/23/2001. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.

MarketRiders Prefers The Following ETF

Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU)
Expense Ratio: 0.19%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $6,157.84

The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Utilities investment strategy and is an alternative to a Utilities mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like FBR Gas Utility Index Investor because computers automatically manage the stocks.

The Following Utilities Funds Have Lower Fees Than FBR Gas Utility Index Investor (GASFX). Why are these metrics important?
Mutual Fund Name Ticker Symbol Turnover Assets (M) Annual Fees
American Century Utilities Inv BULIX 17.0% 295 0.69%
Franklin Utilities Adv FRUAX 5.2% 4,100 0.61%
Prudential Jennison Utility Z PRUZX 51.0% 2,700 0.59%
Vanguard Utilities Index Adm VUIAX 6.0% 1,400 0.19%

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Why Are These Metrics Important?

Turnover represents how much of a mutual fund's holdings are changed over the course of a year through buying and selling. Active mutual funds have an average turnover rate of about 85%, meaning that funds are turning over nearly all of their holdings every year. A high turnover means you could make lower returns because: 1) buying and selling stocks costs money through commissions and spreads and 2) the fund will distribute yearly capital gains which increases your taxes. Look for funds with turnover rates below 50%. For comparison, ETF turnover rates average around 10% or lower.

Generally, smaller funds do better than larger ones. The more assets in a mutual fund, the lower the chance that it will beat its index. Managers outperform an index by choosing stocks that are undervalued. In order to find these undervalued stocks, the manager has to know more than his competitors to develop an "edge." There are only a finite number of stocks a mutual fund manager can reasonably analyze and actively track to gain such a competitive edge. When the fund has more assets, the manager must analyze large companies because he needs to take larger positions. Large companies are more efficiently priced in the market and it becomes increasingly difficult to get an edge.