While investor objective and risk tolerance are ultimately the most important factors that should guide asset allocation, similar mutual funds can be compared based on risk/reward metrics, like the Sharpe ratio, management qualifications and tenure, or fund strategy. The Meeder Investments Miller/Howard Infrastructure Fund Retail Class shares (“FLRUX”), MFS Utilities Fund Class B shares (“MMUBX”), Putnam Global Utilities Fund Class B shares (“PUTBX”), Gabelli Utilities Fund Class C shares (“GAUCX”) and Guggenheim Investments' Rydex Utilities Fund Class H shares (“RYAUX”) all compare poorly to peers on risk/reward metrics and expense ratios.

Miller/Howard Infrastructure Fund Retail Class (FLRUX)

The Miller/Howard Infrastructure Fund Retail Class shares holds domestic and foreign utilities and infrastructure equities. The fund's fundamental research approach targets financial strength and dividend income generation potential. As of December 2015, the fund had 42 holdings, and the five largest holdings represented 23.17% of its portfolio. Morningstar gave the fund a two-star rating, with the fund's Sharpe ratios of 0.23, 0.28 and 0.28 for the three-, five- and 10-year periods ended March 2016, respectively, having lagged the utilities sector average. The fund's 1.98% expense ratio is also above average, which cuts into net returns.

MFS Utilities Fund Class B (MMUBX)

The MFS Utilities Fund Class B shares provides exposure to global utilities and communications stocks, though 75% of its portfolio was concentrated in North American assets, as of March 2016. The fund targets capital appreciation by pursuing investments with strong growth prospects. At the close of February 2016, the fund had 92 holdings, and the 10 largest holdings represented 33.7% of its total portfolio value. Morningstar gave the fund a two-star rating, with the fund's Sharpe ratios of 0.21 and 0.46 for the three- and five-year periods ended March 2016, respectively, having lagged the sector average. The fund's 1.74% expense ratio is also high among peers.

Putnam Global Utilities Fund Class B (PUTBX)

The Putnam Global Utilities Fund Class B shares provides exposure to global electricity, water, gas and power storage utilities. The fund's strategy is informed by a global macro view and fundamental research. As of February 2016, it had 31 holdings, of which the 10 largest represented 58.37% of its portfolio, which does increase concentration risk. Nearly 70% of the fund's assets are dedicated to electric utilities and multi-utility stocks. Morningstar gave the fund a one-star rating, and the fund's Sharpe ratios of 0.38, 0.2 and 0.13 over the three-, five- and 10-year periods ended March 2016, respectively, substantially trailed the sector average, with lagging returns dragging on the metric despite comparable volatility measures. Its 1.94% expense ratio is higher than the category average.

Gabelli Utilities Fund Class C (GAUCX)

The Gabelli Utilities Fund Class C shares provides exposure to a broad range of utilities and telecommunications stocks, with foreign companies making up a very small fraction of its portfolio. The fund targets both capital appreciation and dividend income. Though its portfolio is heavily concentrated in a single sector, the top five holdings only contain 17% of the total portfolio, indicating substantial diversification within its narrow investment universe. Morningstar gave the fund a two-star rating, with risk/reward statistics trailing comparable averages. The fund's Sharpe ratios of 0.5 and 0.58 lagged the sector benchmark ratios for the three- and five-year periods ended March 2016, respectively. Its 2.14% expense ratio is high enough to dampen returns more than those of its competitors.

Rydex Utilities Fund Class H (RYAUX)

The Rydex Utilities Fund Class H shares is heavily exposed to electric utility and multi-utility stocks, which make up 46% and 30% of its portfolio, respectively. Only 16.3% of the portfolio was held in the five largest positions, as of February 2016, indicating relatively high diversification in the utilities sector. The fund shows no clear red flags when considering management tenure or fund performance, but investors may be wary of its risk metrics. Morningstar rated the fund's portfolio high risk relative to its category, and the fund's beta metric was substantially higher than the sector-weighted average over the three-year period ended March 2016. Investors buying utility mutual fund shares are likely seeking diversified exposure to low-beta utilities, so the fund's three-year volatility warrants consideration.