Franklin Templeton Investments is one of the most reputable financial services companies specializing in providing wealth-management services. The company offers investors a wide spectrum of mutual funds that invest in domestic and foreign equities with broad diversification or a focus on a specific niche of the stock market. Many mutual funds offered by Franklin Templeton specialize in investing companies with certain market capitalization or companies included in a broadly defined group, such as growth or value. Most of the equity funds come at a reasonable cost and receive high ratings from fund-rating agencies.
Franklin Utilities Class R Fund (FRURX)
Assets Under Management (AUM): $6.7 billion
2010-2015 Average Annual Net Asset Value (NAV) Return: 10.82%
Net Expense Ratio: 1.08%
The Franklin Utilities Class R Fund seeks capital appreciation and current income by investing in stocks of public utility companies, with a concentration on U.S. utilities sector. The fund uses fundamental, bottom-up research that involves conducting interviews with a company's management and even observing its operations on site. It gives preferential treatment to regulated utilities since these companies tend to enjoy predictable and stable cash flows. The fund's top 10 holdings have 43% allocation, and no single holding accounts for over 6% of the fund's assets. As of Nov. 30, 2015, the fund has a 30-day SEC yield of 2.84%.
The Franklin Utilities Class R Fund has demonstrated strong risk-adjusted returns under the management of John Kohli, who has led it since 1998. The fund has earned a gold analyst rating and a four-star overall rating from Morningstar. It charges no load fees and requires at least a $1,000 initial investment.
Franklin Mutual European Fund Class Z (MEURX)
AUM: $2.6 billion
2010-2015 Average Annual NAV Return: 6.13%
Net Expense Ratio: 1.05%
The Franklin Mutual European Fund Class Z predominantly invests in large-cap stocks of European companies considered value investments. In terms of geographic concentration, the fund focuses on developed economy markets, with the United Kingdom having the largest allocation at 27%. Stocks of German and French companies have 14% and 10% allocation, respectively. Because most stock holdings of the fund are traded in foreign currencies, its returns are subject to currency risks. The fund has a well-diversified portfolio with no single holding accounting for more than 3% of its assets. The fund has earned a four-star overall rating from Morningstar. It does not have load fees and asks investors to contribute at least $100,000.
Franklin Growth Opportunities Fund Advisor Class (FRAAX)
AUM: $1.2 billion
2010-2015 Average Annual NAV Return: 13.02%
Net Expense Ratio: 0.84%
The Franklin Growth Opportunities Fund Advisor Class invests in companies that demonstrate high growth rates, increasing profitability or above-average growth potential compared to the general economic growth. The fund has a large position in information technology stocks with about 33% allocation, while health care equities account for 21% of the fund's portfolio. The fund's top 10 holdings have about 34% allocation and include stocks of companies such as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Visa (NYSE: V), Allergan plc (NASDAQ: AGN). The fund has earned a three-star overall rating from Morningstar. It comes with no load fees and does not require a minimum investment.
Franklin Mutual Financial Services Fund Class Z (TEFAX)
AUM: $637.3 million
2010-2015 Average Annual NAV Return: 11.07%
Net Expense Ratio: 1.14%
The Franklin Mutual Financial Services Fund Class Z invests in financial services companies such as banks, brokerage firms and insurance firms that trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. Almost 50% of the fund's assets is invested in U.S. stocks, while the remainder is spread across a wide range of countries with the United Kingdom accounting for about 10% of the fund's total assets. The fund holds 63 different stocks with about 47% of its portfolio concentrated in large-cap equities. Its top 10 holdings account for about 28% with no single stock having more than 4% allocation. The fund has received a four-star overall rating from Morningstar. It comes with no load fees and requires a minimum contribution amount of $1,000.