The measure of confidence that U.S. citizens vest in the domestic economy, also known as consumer confidence, rose in January to its highest settlement in the past five months. Most of the surge has been attributed to strong employment prospects, high wages, trade deal with China and upbeat economic conditions.
High consumer confidence encourages spending in luxury as well as leisure goods, including swank apartments, new appliances and cars. Under such encouraging conditions, it makes buying mutual funds that invest in leisure, discretionary and transportation companies prudent.
Consumer Confidence Hits 5-Month High
On Jan 28, the Conference Board reported a surge in consumer confidence among Americans for the month. The index rose to 131.6 in January, marking an uptick from 128.2 in the previous month. Furthermore, the index scaled its highest level since August 2019.
Additionally, an American’s confidence, on average, in the present situation improved to 175.3 this month, inching higher by 5 points. The future expectations index, which measures how consumers view the economy in the next six months also increased from 100 to 102.5.
Finally, the percentage of American citizens who felt that the jobs in the economy were aplenty, increased to 49% from 46.5%. At the same time, those who stated that jobs were difficult to find decreased to 11.6%.
3 Best Funds to Buy Now
Given such circumstances, we have highlighted four Fidelity funds carrying a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) that are poised to gain from such factors. Moreover, these Fidelity funds have encouraging three and five-year returns. Additionally, the minimum initial investment is within $5000.
We expect these funds to outperform their peers in the future. Remember, the goal of the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is to guide investors to identify potential winners and losers. Unlike most of the fund-rating systems, the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank is not just focused on past performance, but also on the likely future success of the fund.
The question here is: why should investors consider mutual funds? Reduced transaction costs and diversification of portfolio without several commission charges that are associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money).
Fidelity Select Utilities Portfolio (FSUTX – Free Report) invests the lion’s share of its assets in common stocks of companies primarily involved in the utility sector, and companies that derive the major portion of their revenues from operations related to this sector.
This Sector – Utilities product has a history of positive total returns for over 10 years. Specifically, the fund has returned 16.3% over the three-year and 9.8% over the five-year benchmarks.
FSUTX has an annual expense ratio of 0.78%, which is below the category average of 1.11%.
Fidelity Select Leisure Portfolio (FDLSX – Free Report) seeks capital appreciation. FDLSX normally invests at least 80% of its assets in common stocks of companies principally engaged in the design, production, or distribution of goods or services in the leisure industries. The fund offers dividends and capital gains twice a year in April and December.
This Sector – Other product has a history of positive total returns for over 10 years. Specifically, the fund has returned 15.6% over the three-year and 11.1% over the five-year benchmarks.
FDLSX has an annual expense ratio of 0.76%, which is below the category average of 1.27%.
Fidelity Select Consumer Discretionary Portfolio (FSCPX – Free Report) invests in large-blend companies. The objective of FSCPX is to seek capital appreciation. FSCPX normally invests at least 80% of its assets in common stocks of companies principally engaged in the manufacture and distribution of goods and services to both domestic and international consumers.
This Sector – Other product has a history of positive total returns for over 10 years. Specifically, the fund’s returns over the three and five-year benchmarks are 15.4% and 11.1%, respectively.
FSCPX has an annual expense ratio of 0.78%, which is below the category average of 1.27%.
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