Top 5 Healthcare Mutual Funds (April 2011)

When markets are going through troubled times, investors often depend on the healthcare sector to protect their valuable investments. Healthcare and related services continue to remain in demand during difficult market conditions and are a safe haven in tough times. Mutual funds are the perfect choice for investors looking to enter this sector since they have the advantage of professional management and posses the analytical insight needed to keep abreast of the latest advancements in this sector.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated health mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all health funds, then click here.

Fidelity Select Medical Equipment & Systems (FSMEX) seeks capital growth by investing heavily in the healthcare sector. The fund primarily invests in securities of companies which produce, distribute or develop medical equipment, devices and related technologies. The health mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 9.55%.

The health mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 0.90% compared to a category average of 1.79%.

Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A (FBDIX) invests a large proportion of its assets in biotechnology companies and discovery research companies. The fund focuses on acquiring equity securities, with an emphasis on common stock. The health mutual fund returned 12.04% in the last one year period.

Evan McCulloch is the fund manager and has managed this health mutual fund since 1997.

Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences A (ETHSX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The fund invests at least 80% of its assets in health science companies and related firms. The fund invests in both domestic and foreign securities, investing in instruments from at least three different countries at any given time. The health mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 4.32%.

The health mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 2.07% compared to a category average of 1.79%.

Vanguard Health Care Index (VHCIX) invests primarily in healthcare stocks and seeks to match the performance of the MSCI U.S. Investable Market Health Care 25/50 index. This index consists of stocks of companies of all sizes from this sector. This includes firms which produce healthcare equipment and supply related services. The health mutual fund returned 9.22% in the last one year period.

As of December 2010, this health mutual fund held 296 issues, with 10.84% of its total assets invested in Johnson & Johnson.

Putnam Global Health Care A (PHSTX) seeks long-term capital growth. The fund invests primarily in companies from the health care sector across the globe. It focuses on acquiring common stocks of large and mid-cap companies, but may also invest in smaller firms. The health mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 4.25%.

Kelsey Chen is the fund manager and she has managed this health mutual fund since 2005.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all health mutual funds, then click here.

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