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Is FATRX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

If you have been looking for Mutual Fund Bond funds, a place to start could be Frost Total Return Bond Investor (FATRX). FATRX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

History of Fund/Manager

Frost Funds is responsible for FATRX, and the company is based out of San Antonio, Tx. The Frost Total Return Bond Investor made its debut in July of 2008 and FATRX has managed to accumulate roughly $367.01 million in assets, as of the most recently available information. Jeffery Elswick is the fund's current manager and has held that role since July of 2008.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund in particular has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 3.36%, 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 3.85%, which places it in the top 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 10.81%, the standard deviation of FATRX over the past three years is 4.86%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 3.85% compared to the category average of 9.13%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

This fund has a beta of 0.53, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, FATRX has a positive alpha of 0.97, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

Ratings

Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, FATRX has 60.96% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher. The fund has an average quality of AA, and focuses on high quality securities.

Expenses

As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, FATRX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.71% compared to the category average of 0.91%. Looking at the fund from a cost perspective, FATRX is actually cheaper than its peers.

Investors need to be aware that with this product, the minimum initial investment is $2,500; each subsequent investment needs to be at least $500.

Bottom Line

Overall, Frost Total Return Bond Investor ( FATRX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, better downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

For additional information on the Mutual Fund Bond area of the mutual fund world, make sure to check out www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds. There, you can see more about the ranking process, and dive even deeper into FATRX too for additional information. If you are more of a stock investor, make sure to also check out our Zacks Rank, and our full suite of tools we have available for novice and professional investors alike.


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