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FranklinTempleton's mutual funds have performed very well over the long run and I believe that they will continue to do so. The perception of the average investor is very short sighted, but I believe that those who stay with well managed funds will be rewarded. Another mistake is to look at the initial fee which the fund charges without taking other things into consideration (like long-term performance and the absence of "hidden" fees). Franklin Equity has been performing well. Many of Ben's other funds have not performed well lately because of the particular category of investment approach they fall into. But this is volatile over possibly a three-year period and it is impossible to predict with certainty which approach will receive the greatest gains next. Also remember that it makes no sense to compare funds with a short track record to those which have been around for a longer time.

Their strong area is in foreign and international funds. I believe that if you want to invest in foreign stocks and perhaps even some international stocks and you are not capable or willing to completely educate yourself in this area and spend a great deal of time on it that you are better off in mutual funds. I also believe that a lot of other people who invest in individual stocks independently believe this.

Another plus for BEN is their marketing in Asia. You might want to check out the web sites directed at people living in Asian countries. (Zack's has a high opinion of BEN also.)
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