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Is FIHBX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

High Yield - Bonds fund seekers should consider taking a look at Federated Institutional High Yield Bond (FIHBX). FIHBX possesses a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 2 (Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.

Objective

We note that FIHBX is a High Yield - Bonds option, which is an area loaded with different investment choices. High Yield - Bonds funds are often known as " junk " bonds since they are below investment grade. This means they are at an elevated risk of default, at least when compared to their investment grade peers. On the plus side, junk bonds generally pay out higher yields, all while posing similar interest rate risks as we see with their investment grade counterparts.

History of Fund/Manager

FIHBX finds itself in the Federated family, based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Federated Institutional High Yield Bond made its debut in November of 2002, and since then, FIHBX has accumulated about $6.77 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Mark E. Durbiano, has been in charge of the fund since November of 2002.

Performance

Investors naturally seek funds with strong performance. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 7.77%, and it sits in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 5.64%, 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. The standard deviation of FIHBX over the past three years is 8.98% compared to the category average of 12.13%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 7.4% compared to the category average of 10.21%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

FIHBX carries a beta of 0.43, meaning that the fund is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. With this in mind, it has a positive alpha of 5.21, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.

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, FIHBX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.49% compared to the category average of 1.01%. So, FIHBX is actually cheaper than its peers from a cost perspective.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1 million, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Bottom Line

Overall, Federated Institutional High Yield Bond ( FIHBX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.

Want even more information about FIHBX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are.


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