Zacks#1 Ranked Balanced Funds

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For investors seeking both capital appreciation and regular income, balanced funds could be the best possible choice. These funds ensure that gains from the stock market are accompanied by relatively low levels of volatility since they combine the benefits of both stocks and bonds.  This helps them to harness the benefits of a market upswing while protecting invested capital during difficult times. The better funds in this category keep the proportion of equity, debt and money market instruments flexible to further enhance these unique benefits.

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.

WesMark Balanced (WMBLX) invests in a portfolio consisting of equity, fixed-income securities and money market instruments. It focuses on allocating its equity component to common stocks of large and mid-cap companies and may invest in ETFs. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 5.16%.

The balanced mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.31% compared to a category average of 1.00%.

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 4.06%.

The Fund Manager is G. David MacEwen and he has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2005.

Buffalo Balanced Fund (BUFBX) invests in a wide spectrum of instruments like common stocks, convertible and non-convertible preferred stocks, convertible and non convertible debt securities, and junk bonds. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 5.47%.

As of December 2011, this balanced mutual fund held 90 issues, with 9.31% of its total assets invested in Fidelity Institutional Money Market Fund Government I.

Virtus Balanced A (PHBLX) seeks income and capital appreciation over the long term. The fund 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 3.44%.

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 1.00%.

Ivy International Balanced A (IVBAX) invests in equity and debt securities which are issued from mature economies in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The fund invests in companies of all sizes and in government securities rated investment grade. It may also consider investing in emerging economies. The balanced mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 1.83%.

John C. Maxwell is the fund manager and has managed this balanced fund since 2009.

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 WMBLX

Read the analyst report on TWBIX

Read the analyst report on BUFBX

Read the analyst report on PHBLX

Read the analyst report on IVBAX



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