Franklin Mutual Funds

Franklin Mutual funds bears the name and image of one of America's greatest citizens.  In this article, we're going to provide a review of this company to see if it lives up to the legacy he's left behind.  We're also going to take some liberties with the name of this mutual fund, since the company's formal name is Franklin Templeton Investments.

Franklin Family of Mutual Funds

Franklin Templeton Investments is part of Franklin Resources, Inc., which also owns Mutual Series, Bisset, Fiduciary Trust, and Darby Overseas.  The company has offices in 35 countries, and offers investment opportunities in 150 countries worldwide.  Franklin offers solutions to institutions such as the management of 401(k) accounts and pension plans, as well as services to individuals such as Roth IRA plans, Traditional IRAs, and 529 plans.

Within all of the operating names, Franklin Templeton Investments offers investors more than 200 products and services.  Each portion of the company specializes in a particular investment segment or geography.  For example, Bisset's focus is on Canada.  In total, Franklin manages over $750 billion in assets on behalf of their client investors.

Fee Structure and Returns

Morningstar ratings indicate the expense ratios for mutual funds at Franklin are Average.  This includes domestic (1.04%) and international stock funds (1.50%) as well as taxable bond funds (0.84%).  Franklin mutual funds offer investors a nice mix of asset classes, with domestic stocks (13.99%), bond funds (29.71%), and international stocks (13.11%), in relatively good balance.

At $1,000, the minimum investment required by Franklin is higher than some of the other fund families reviewed.  For example, Hartford Mutual Funds does not have a minimum.  Another drawback at Franklin is the mix of funds charging a load (64.34%) versus no-load mutual funds (34.66%).  As of September 2018, the average return on the family of funds offered by Franklin was 6.36% over the last five years.

Top Rated Franklin Mutual Funds

The top rated mutual funds at Franklin require a minimum investment of $1,000.  That being said, here is a list of the top rated mutual funds at Franklin (September 2018):

Franklin Mutual Quest Z (MQIFX)

  • Assets:  $5.1 billion
  • Category:  Large Value
  • Specialty:  World Allocation
  • Top Three Holdings:  Sorenson Communications, Vodafone Group, and British Amerian Tobacco
  • Load:  None
  • Minimum Investment:  $100,000
  • Expense Ratio:  0.79%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  6.51%

Franklin DynaTech (FKDNX)

  • Assets:  $6.6 billion
  • Category:  Large Growth
  • Specialty:  None
  • Top Three Holdings:  Amazon Inc, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp
  • Load:  5.50% Front End
  • Minimum Investment:  $1,000
  • Expense Ratio:  0.89%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  17.40%

Franklin Convertible Securities Fund Class A (FISCX)

  • Assets:  $4.1 billion
  • Category:  Mid Growth
  • Specialty:  Convertibles
  • Top Three Holdings:  Square Inc 0.5%, Atlassian Inc 0.62%, AXA 7.25%
  • Load:  5.50% (front end)
  • Minimum Investment:  $1,000
  • Expense Ratio:  0.84%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  9.98%

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