#3 Worst Mutual Fund: Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund
YTD Return: -14%
Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund (MUTF:FRGOX), a mid-cap focused mutual fund, normally invests at least 80% of net assets in stocks of gold and precious metals mining companies. The non-diversified fund has nearly 91% of its holdings in non-U.S. companies.
Manager(s): Steve Land has been lead manager on FRGOX since April 1999.
Takeaway: FRGOX loved the Great Recession: After posting a 31% loss in 2008, its performance zoomed 68% in 2009 and 48% in 2010. Alas, it skidded back to a 25% loss last year. If you’re bullish on mining stocks for 2013, FRGOX is worth a look — but mining companies have been acting more like stocks lately, so buying into FRGOX isn’t the same thing as holding physical gold. FRGOX’s expenses are higher than I’d like; the 1% load add to the price tag.
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