NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Investors Funds ranked 9th out of 64 in the Barron’s/Lipper Fund Family Rankings based on total return in 2013. This is the second time in the past three years that Barron’s recognized First Investors Funds among the top 10 mutual fund families.
Barron’s also included separate one-year rankings for the five specific asset categories in which funds must have a presence in order to qualify for the overall rankings. First Investors Funds ranked No. 1 in the Mixed Asset category (equity and fixed-income assets) for the year ended December. 31, 2013 for its Total Return Fund.
“This is tremendous recognition of our 2013 results for our FIMCO investment teams,” says Derek Burke, President of First Investors Management Company, Inc. (FIMCO). “Under the leadership of Edwin Miska and Clark Wagner, FIMCO did an outstanding job of generating competitive investment returns. This recognition validates our belief in First Investors Funds as competitive, high-quality investment options for our clients.”
About First Investors
First Investors Corporation, a financial services leader, is committed to helping individual and institutional customers reach their financial goals through a variety of products and services, including mutual funds, life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services and investment management. For more information, please visit firstinvestors.com.
Foresters™ is the parent organization of First Investors. Founded in 1874, the fraternal benefit society has over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom and supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. For more information, please visit foresters.com.
Barron’s Best Mutual Fund Families of 2013 measures one-year results of 64 fund families for the one-year period ended December 31, 2013. To qualify for the Barron’s/Lipper Fund Survey, a group must have at least three funds in Lipper general U.S. stock category, as well as one in world equity, which combines global and international funds. They also require at least one mixed-asset (or “balanced”) fund, which holds stocks and bonds. Fund firms also must have at least two taxable-bond funds and one tax-exempt offering. Each fund’s returns are adjusted for 12b-1 fees, which are used for marketing and distribution expenses. The funds usually add these fees back into returns. Barron’s/Lipper’s aim is to measure the manager’s skill. Fund loads, or sales charges, are not included in the calculation of returns. The ranking period included time periods during which some funds' returns were affected by expense reduction arrangements. Each fund’s return is measured against those of all funds in its Lipper category. That leads to a percentile ranking, with 100 the highest and 1 the lowest, which is then weighted by asset size, relative to the fund family’s other assets in its general classification. Finally the score is multiplied by the weighting of its general classification, as determined by the entire Lipper universe of funds. The category weightings for the one-year results: general equity 40%, world equity 17%, mixed-asset 18%, taxable bonds 22% and tax exempt bonds 3%. The category weightings for the five-year results: general equity 42%, world equity 16%, mixed asset 18%, taxable bonds 21% and tax exempt bonds 3%. The category weightings for the 10-year results: general equity 44%, world equity 15%, mixed asset 17%, taxable bonds 20% and tax-exempt bonds 4%. For Barron’s five-and ten-year categories, as of December 31, 2013, First Investors Funds ranked 29 out of 55 funds and 38 out of 48 funds, respectively. This article was published by Barron’s February 10, 2014.
Total Return Fund
The Total Return Fund seeks high, long-term total investment return consistent with moderate investment risk.
The Fund allocates its assets among stocks, bonds and money market instruments. While the percentage of assets allocated to each asset class is flexible rather than fixed, the Fund normally invests at least 50% of its net assets in stocks and at least 35% in bonds, cash and money market instruments. The percentages may change due to, among other things, market fluctuations or reallocation decisions by the Fund’s portfolio managers.
Once the asset allocation for stocks, bonds and money market instruments has been set, the Fund uses fundamental research and analysis to determine which particular investments to purchase or sell.
The Fund’s investments in stocks are normally diversified among common stocks of large-, mid- and small-size companies that offer the potential for capital growth, current income, or both. In selecting stocks, the Fund considers, among other things, the issuer’s financial strength, management, earnings growth potential and history (if any) of paying dividends.
The Fund’s investments in bonds are normally diversified among different types of bonds and other debt securities, including corporate bonds, U.S. Government securities and mortgage-backed securities. The Fund selects bonds by first considering the outlook for the economy and interest rates, and thereafter, a particular security’s characteristics. The Fund may also invest in U.S. Treasury futures and options on U.S. Treasury futures to hedge against changes in interest rates.
The Fund may sell a security if it becomes fully valued, its fundamentals have deteriorated, alternative investments become more attractive or if it is necessary to rebalance the portfolio.
The Fund is intended for investors who: are seeking total return; want an investment that provides diversification among different asset classes; are willing to accept a moderate degree of investment risk; and have a long-term investment horizon and are able to ride out market cycles.
The principal risks of investing in the Total Return Fund are:
Market Risk. Stock prices may decline over short or even extended periods not only because of company-specific developments, but also due to an economic downturn, adverse political or regulatory developments, a change in interest rates or a change in investor sentiment. Similarly, bond prices fluctuate in value with changes in interest rates, the economy and the financial conditions of companies that issue them.
Mid-Size and Small-Size Company Risk. The market risk associated with stocks of mid-and small-size companies is generally greater than that associated with stocks of larger, more established companies because stocks of mid- and small-size companies tend to experience sharper price fluctuations. At times, it may be difficult for the Fund to sell mid-to-small-size company stocks at reasonable prices.
Interest Rate Risk. In general, when interest rates rise, the market value of a debt security declines, and when interest rates decline, the market value of a debt security increases. Securities with longer maturities are generally more sensitive to interest rate changes.
Credit Risk. This is the risk that an issuer of bonds and other debt securities will be unable to pay interest or principal when due. The prices of bonds and other debt securities are affected by the credit quality of the issuer and, in the case of mortgage-backed securities, the credit quality of the underlying mortgages. Credit risk also applies to securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government- sponsored enterprises that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.
Prepayment and Extension Risk. The Fund is subject to prepayment and extension risk since it invests in mortgage-backed securities. When interest rates decline, borrowers tend to refinance their mortgages. When this occurs, the mortgages that back these securities suffer a higher rate of prepayment. This could cause a decrease in the Fund’s income and share price. Extension risk is the flip side of prepayment risk. When interest rates rise, the Fund’s average maturity may lengthen due to a drop in prepayments. This will generally increase both the Fund’s sensitivity to rising interest rates and its potential for price declines.
Allocation Risk. The Fund may allocate assets to investment classes that underperform other classes. For example, the Fund may be overweighted in stocks when the stock market is falling and the bond market is rising.
Derivatives Risk. Investments in U.S. Treasury futures and options on U.S. Treasury futures to hedge against changes in interest rates involve risks, such as potential losses if interest rates do not move as expected and the potential for greater losses than if these techniques had not been used. Investments in derivatives can increase the volatility of the Fund’s share price and may expose the Fund to significant additional costs. Derivatives may be difficult to sell, unwind, or value.
Security Selection Risk. Securities selected by the portfolio manager may perform differently than the overall market or may not meet the portfolio manager’s expectations.
The views herein may change based on market and other conditions. Nothing stated herein is intended to be advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy or a recommendation of a specific security or investment strategy. Investment decisions should be made based on an individual’s goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. All investing involves risk, including the risk that you may lose money. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Stock markets are volatile and can decline significantly in response to adverse issues, including political, regulatory, market or economic developments. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.
For more information about First Investors mutual funds and variable products, you may obtain a free prospectus and summary prospectus by contacting your financial services representative, writing to the address below, calling (800) 423-4026 or visiting our website at www.firstinvestors.com. You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and other information about the funds, and should be read carefully before you invest or send money. An investment in these funds is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other government agency.
ForestersTM is the name and trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters (“Foresters”), a fraternal benefit society. Its subsidiary, First Investors Consolidated Corporation (“First Investors”), is licensed to use this mark. First Investors Corporation is a subsidiary of First Investors Consolidated Corporation. All securities products are offered through First Investors Corporation.
First Investors Management Company, Inc. is the investment adviser to First Investors Funds and an affiliate of First Investors Corporation.
First Investors Mutual Funds are distributed by:
First Investors Corporation
40 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005