Top 5 Zacks #1 Ranked Balanced Funds

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Investors seeking total return, both regular income and long term capital appreciation, should include balanced funds in their portfolio. Balanced funds are perhaps the most flexible and actively managed category of mutual funds as their investments offer exposure across a variety of asset classes and sectors. Such funds often rebalance their portfolios on the basis of current economic and market trends in order to meet their investment objective. Moreover, these funds not only seek to provide good returns during favorable market conditions, but also provide protection against substantial capital loss during difficult times.

 Below we will share with you 5 top rated balanced mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect the fund to outperform its peers in the future.  To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all balanced funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Virtus Balanced A (PHBLX) utilizes at least 65% of its assets to purchase domestic and foreign common stocks and fixed income securities. The fund invests in companies regardless of their size and purchases emerging market securities. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 3.53%.

The balanced mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 1.15% compared to a category average of 1.02%.

American Century Balanced (TWBIX) seeks both capital growth and current income. Around 60% of the fund’s assets are utilized to purchase equity securities and the balance is used to acquire fixed income instruments. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 4.12%.

As of March 2012, this balanced mutual fund held 660 issues, with 2.16% of its total assets invested in Apple, Inc.

State Farm Balanced (STFBX) invests 60% to 75% of its assets in common stocks. At least 25% of its assets are used to purchase fixed income securities. This includes preferred stock and debt securities with longer maturity periods; rated investment grade. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 3.97%.

The Fund Manager is Paul Eckley and he has managed this balanced mutual fund since 1991.

Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Balanced (NVGBX) seeks both capital growth and current income. At present, the fund’s portfolio consists of the different equity and fixed income of various master portfolios. As per the fund’s “neutral” target allocation 655 of its assets are invested in equities and 35% in bonds. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 2.01%.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.95% compared to a category average of 1.02%.

Ivy Balanced A (IBNAX) invests in a diversified portfolio of equity, debt and short term instruments, the composition of which depends on current market conditions. The fund focuses on investing in large and mid-cap companies which pay regular dividends. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 6.23%.

The Fund Manager is Cynthia P. Prince-Fox and he has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2003.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all balanced mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.

Read the analyst report on PHBLX

Read the analyst report on TWBIX

Read the analyst report on STFBX

Read the analyst report on NVGBX

Read the analyst report on IBNAX



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