Best Ranked Balanced Mutual Funds of 2012

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End of the year of 2011 is approaching, and the year 2012 will mark another year for picking the mutual fund's winner for the past decade. Some mutual funds may have outperformed its peer or its benchmark and some may be trailing its benchmark. The following article will look into the best performer balanced funds for the past 10 year (2002-2011). The best balanced funds include Bruce fund, First Eagle Global A, Permanent Portfolio, Ivy Asset Strategy, and more.

This balanced fund is also known as hybrid fund. This mutual fund invests in variety type of assets such as equities or stocks, bonds or fixed income, commodities (gold bullion), cash, preferred, convertible, etc. The fund assets may be allocated in US or foreign based depending upon its fund’s objective.

The Top 10 Balanced Mutual Funds for the past decade (2012 version) are:
Best Balanced Fund 2011
  1. Bruce (BRUFX)
  2. First Eagle Global A (SGENX)
  3. Permanent Portfolio (PRPFX)
  4. Waddell & Reed Asset Strategy A (UNASX)
  5. Loomis Sayles Global Equity and Income Y (LSWWX)
  6. Ivy Asset Strategy C (WASCX)
  7. FPA Crescent (FPACX)
  8. Berwyn Income (BERIX)
  9. GMO Global Asset Allocation III (GMWAX)
  10. ING T Rowe Price Cap Appreciation Portfolio S (ITCSX)
Updated on 12/18/2011

American Funds American Balanced Fund (ABALX) Class A

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Balanced fund can be used as the only investment vehicle for investor to invest. Finding the right balanced fund can be difficult. One of the largest and popular hybrid funds is American Funds American Balanced fund. Details review can be found below.

American Funds American Balanced A (ABALX)

The investment objective of this American Funds American Balanced fund is seeking conservation of capital, current income and to provide long-term capital growth or income. This AF fund invests in a broad range of securities such as stocks, bonds. It usually maintains >50% of assets in common stocks and >25% of assets in debt securities, including money market securities. This fund may invest in foreign companies as well.

Fund Details
AF American Balanced 
  • Fund Inception Date: 01/03/1933
  • Ticker Symbol: ABALX
  • CUSIP: 024071102
  • Beta (3yr): 1.05
  • Rank in category (YTD): 6%
  • Category: Moderate Allocation
  • Distribution: 2.14%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.63%  
  • Net Assets: $ 49.60 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 56 years
  • Number of Years Down: 21 years
  • Average Life: 7.2 years
  • Average Duration: 4.7 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 37%
Updated on 12/19/2011

Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FUSEX)

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Index mutual fund has become more popular nowadays for investor. For 2011, most of the index fund has outperformed other actively managed mutual funds. One of the well-known index funds is Fidelity Spartan 500 Index fund. This mutual fund is tracking S&P 500 index which consists mainly the large cap US companies. The fund’s review is described below.

Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor (FUSEX)

Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Fund (FUSEX) is an investor class of U.S. domestic stock mutual fund. This index fund is classified as large blend fund. It has low expense ratio fee.

The Fidelity Spartan 500 Index fund is seeking to provide investment results that correspond to the total return performance of common stocks publicly traded in the U.S. The fund invests most of assets (>80%) in common stocks included in the S&P 500 Index.

Fund Details
Fidelity Spartan 500 Index
  • Fund Inception Date: 02/17/1988
  • Ticker Symbol: FUSEX (Investor Class)
  • CUSIP: 315911206
  • Beta (3yr): 1.0
  • Rank in category (YTD): 18%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Yield: 2.00%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.10%  
  • Net Assets: $ 41.14 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 17 years
  • Number of Years Down: 5 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 4%
Updated on 12/22/2011

American Funds New World Fund (NEWFX) Class A

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Since 2008-2009 global economic crisis, Emerging Markets Equities and Bonds have outperformed other asset classes for the past 3 years. One of the most popular diversified emerging markets stock funds is American Funds New World fund. The fund review is described below.

American Funds New World A (NEWFX)

The investment objective of American Funds New World fund is to seek long-term capital appreciation. The fund invests majority of assets in common stocks of companies with significant exposure to developing countries. It invests >35% of assets in equity and debt securities of issuers in developing economies and/or markets.

Fund Details
American Funds New World Fund (NEWFX) Class A
American Funds New World 
  • Fund Inception Date: 06/17/1999
  • Ticker Symbol: NEWFX
  • CUSIP: 649280104
  • Beta (3yr): 0.86
  • Rank in category (YTD): 11%
  • Category: Diversified Emerging Markets
  • Distribution: 1.56%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.04%  
  • Net Assets: $ 18.65 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 7 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 20.00%
Updated on 12/16/2011

BlackRock Global Allocation Investor A (MDLOX) Fund

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Known for its Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) line up through iShares, BlackRock also offers various popular mutual funds. One of the popular funds is BlackRock Global Allocation Investor fund. This fund is part of balanced fund which invests in stocks and bonds. You can find the fund’s review below.

BlackRock Global Allocation Investor A (MDLOX)

The BlackRock Global Allocation Investor A fund’s objective is to provide high total investment return. This BlackRock balanced fund invests in a portfolio of equity, debt and money market securities. It may invest <35% of its total assets in junk bonds, corporate loans, and distressed securities. The fund may also invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs. It may invest in any part of the world with any market capitalization.

Fund Details
BlackRock Global Allocation Inv
  • Fund Inception Date: 10/21/1994
  • Ticker Symbol: MDLOX
  • CUSIP: 09251T103
  • Beta (3yr): 1.03
  • Rank in category (YTD): 44%
  • Category: World Allocation
  • Distribution: 1.69%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.08%  
  • Net Assets: $ 52.37 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 14 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 29.0%
Updated on 12/17/2011

American Funds Capital World Growth and Income Fund (CWGIX) Class A

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The following fund review is one of the most popular world stock mutual funds. This American Funds Capital World G/I fund invests in companies around the world. More details about the fund’s review can be found below.

American Funds Capital World G/I A (CWGIX)

The American Funds Capital World Growth and Income fund investment fund’s objective is to provide long-term growth of capital while providing current income. This AF fund invests most of assets in common stocks of well-established companies located around the world. These companies also have the potential to pay dividends. It invests, on a global basis, in common stocks that are denominated in U.S. dollars or other currencies. This equity fund invests a significant portion of its assets in securities of issuers domiciled outside the United States. The fund may also invest in issuers in developing countries.

Fund Details
 American Funds Capital World Growth and Income Fund (CWGIX) A
CWGIX fund
  • Fund Inception Date: 03/26/1993
  • Ticker Symbol: CWGIX
  • CUSIP: 140543109
  • Beta (3yr): 0.90
  • Rank in category (YTD): 56%
  • Category: World Stock
  • Distribution: 2.72%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.79%  
  • Net Assets: $ 70.20 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 14 years
  • Number of Years Down: 3 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 25.0%
Updated on 12/14/2011

Vanguard Wellington Fund (VWELX) Investor Shares

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Vanguard is not only known with its index funds, it also offers various actively managed mutual funds. Some of these mutual funds are among the popular and top rated fund in its category such as Vanguard Wellesley Income, Vanguard Wellington, Vanguard STAR fund, Vanguard Windsor, and more. This article will provide review about Vanguard Wellington. This fund is part of balanced fund or hybrid fund which invests in stocks and bonds.

Vanguard Wellington Investor (VWELX)

The investment objective of Vanguard Wellington fund is to provide long-term capital appreciation and reasonable current income. This equity fund invests about 60%-70% of its assets in dividend-paying and, to a lesser extent, non-dividend-paying common stocks of established, mid and large companies. Most of these stocks are known as value stocks.

It invests the rest of assets (30%-40%) of the assets in fixed income securities that the advisor believes will generate a reasonable level of current income. These securities include investment-grade corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury and government agency bonds, and mortgage-backed securities.

Fund Details
Vanguard Wellington Fund
  • Fund Inception Date: 07/01/1929
  • Ticker Symbol: VWELX (Investor Shares)
  • CUSIP: 921935102
  • Beta (3yr): 1.00
  • Rank in category (YTD): 11%
  • Category: Moderate Allocation
  • Distribution: 2.89%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.30%  
  • Net Assets: $ 55.24 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 63 years
  • Number of Years Down: 18 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 35%
Updated on 12/16/2011

Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX)

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Fidelity funds are among of the most popular mutual funds. They have various old and best rated funds such as Fidelity Magellan, Fidelity Puritan, Fidelity Growth Company, and more. This next fund review is Fidelity Puritan. This fund is balanced fund which invests in stock or equity and bond or fixed income.

Fidelity Puritan (FPURX)

The Fidelity Puritan fund’s objective is to provide income and capital growth consistent with reasonable risk. This hybrid fund invests 60% of assets in stocks or equities and the remainder in bonds and other debt securities, including lower-quality debt securities. It invests >25% of total assets in fixed-income senior securities such as debt securities and preferred stock. The fund also invests in domestic and foreign issuers and invests in Fidelity funds.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 04/16/1947
  • Ticker Symbol: FPURX
  • CUSIP: 316345107
  • Beta (3yr): 1.05
  • Rank in category (YTD): 33%
  • Category: Moderate Allocation
  • Distribution: 1.83%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.59%
  • Net Assets: $18.64 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 49 years
  • Number of Years Down: 14 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 154.00%
Updated on 12/12/2011

American Funds Fundamental Investors Fund (ANCFX) Class A

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Large Cap US Domestic Stock funds have achieved better result than other Large Cap International stock mutual funds for 2011. One of this popular US Stock funds is American Funds Fundamental Investors fund. This top fund also pays regular dividend. More details about the fund review below.

American Funds Fundamental Investors A (ANCFX)

The investment objective of American Funds Fundamental Investors fund is to seek long-term capital growth and income. This American Funds fund invests mainly in common stocks of companies that appear to offer superior opportunities for capital growth and most of which have a history of paying dividends. It may invest significantly in foreign companies outside the United States.

Fund Details
American Funds Fundamental Investors Fund (ANCFX) Class A
American Funds Fundamental Investors
  • Fund Inception Date: August 1, 1978
  • Ticker Symbol: ANCFX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 360802102
  • Beta (3yr): 0.98
  • Rank in category (YTD): 64%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Distribution: 1.61%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.64%  
  • Net Assets: $ 47.51 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 27 years
  • Number of Years Down: 5 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 32%
Updated on 12/13/2011

Fidelity Balanced Fund (FBALX)

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This Fidelity Balanced fund is classified as hybrid mutual fund which invests in equities and fixed incomes. This mutual fund can become the one stop shop for your investment strategy. More details about the fund’s review is below.

Fidelity Balanced (FBALX)

The Fidelity Balanced investment fund is seeking income and capital growth consistent with reasonable risk. This Fidelity fund invests >60% of assets in stocks and other equity securities and the remainder in bonds and other bond securities, including lower-quality debt securities. It invests >25% of total assets in fixed-income senior securities such as preferred stock. The fund invests in domestic and foreign stocks and bonds.

Fund Details
Fidelity Balanced fund
  • Fund Inception Date: 11/6/1986
  • Ticker Symbol: FBALX
  • CUSIP: 316345206
  • Beta (3yr): 1.04
  • Rank in category (YTD): 19%
  • Category: Moderate Allocation
  • Distribution: 1.86%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%  
  • Net Assets: $ 19.81 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 20 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 193%
Updated on 12/8/2011

Lightspeed Offers New Commission fee for WebTrader 2012

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lightspeed
Lightspeed is one of the discount brokerage which has been rated among the top brokerage by various financial magazine such as Barron, Smart Money, and more. It offers Lightspeed TraderLightspeed Gateway, Lightspeed Web Trader, and Lightspeed Forex.

New Commission Fee on 1/15/2012

There will be new commission schedule for Lightspeed WebTrader user on 1/15/2012.
  • Lightspeed will eliminate the per-share rate plan. Any customer on per-share rate will be switched to the new per-trade plan.
  • Lightspeed will reduce the current per-trade plan from $4.50 per trade to $3.00 per trade.
The new commission will be:
  • For equities, $3.00 per trade with 50,000 share maximum order size
  • For options, $0.60 per contract ($3.00 minimum commission)

YTD Top Performer Mutual Funds of December 2011

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YTD Top Performer Mutual Funds 2011
The year 2011 has been one of the most challenging years for traders and investors to invest in mutual funds. The following article will look into the year to date top performer of each category of Mutual Funds.

The year to date top performers include PIMCO Real Estate Real Return Strategy A, Morgan Stanley Institutional Select Global Infrastructure Portfolio I, PIMCO Extended Duration Institutional, and more.

Note: This list doesn’t include any leveraged funds except on alternative funds category.

The YTD Top Performer Funds of December 2011 include:
  • US Stock Funds
    • PIMCO Real Estate Real Return Strategy A (PETAX)
    • FBR Gas Utility Index Investor (GASFX)
    • PIMCO StocksPLUS Long Duration Institutional (PSLDX)
  • International Stock Funds
    • Morgan Stanley Institutional Select Global Infrastructure Portfolio I (MTIIX)
    • DWS RREEF Global Infrastructure A (TOLLX)
    • Morgan Stanley Global Infrastructure B (UTLBX)
  • Taxable Bond Funds
    • PIMCO Extended Duration Institutional (PEDIX)
    • Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Institutional (VEDTX)
    • Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury (WHOSX)
  • Municipal Bond Funds
    • Dupree Taxable Municipal Bond (DUTMX)
    • Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Bond Strategy Long Term A (EALTX)
    • Oppenheimer AMT-Free Municipals A (OPTAX)
  • Balanced Funds
    • PIMCO Real Income 2029 A (POIAX)
    • Federated Muni and Stock Advantage A (FMUAX)
    • FBR Balanced I (AFBAX)
  • Alternative Funds
    • ProFunds UltraShort Emerging Markets Inv (UVPIX)
    • ProFunds UltraShort Japan Inv (UKPIX)
    • Direxion Mthly Emerging Markets Bear 2X (DXESX)
updated on 12/17/2011

Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Open (LZOEX) Fund

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Emerging Markets stock fund has been one of the outperformer asset classes of mutual funds for the past 3 years. One of this popular EM equity funds is Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Open (LZOEX) fund. This Lazard fund invests in undervalued emerging market companies. More details about the fund review is described as follow.

Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Open (LZOEX)

The investment objective of Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Open fund is to seek long-term capital appreciation. This equity fund invests mainly in undervalued equity securities of non-U.S. companies located in emerging market countries.

Fund Details
Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Open
  • Fund Inception Date: January 8, 1997
  • Ticker Symbol: LZOEX (Open Class)
  • CUSIP: 52106N764
  • Beta (3yr): 1.05
  • Rank in category (YTD): 26%
  • Category: Diversified Emerging Markets
  • Distribution: 1.02%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.49%  
  • Net Assets: $ 15.23 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 8 years
  • Number of Years Down: 5 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 23.00%
Updated on 12/11/2011

Fidelity Growth Company Fund (FDGRX)

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Growth Stocks are among the most popular stocks for short term traders and investors. Selecting an individual growth stock may be challenging though. Easiest way to buy these stocks is through buying growth stock mutual fund. These growth stock funds are investing in variety of diversified growth stocks. One of the popular growth stock funds is Fidelity Growth Company fund.

Fidelity Growth Company (FDGRX)

As actively managed fund, this Fidelity Growth Company fund seeks capital appreciation. This stock fund invests mainly in companies’ common stocks with above-average growth potential. The fund may invest in domestic and foreign companies.

Fidelity Growth Company

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 01/17/1983
  • Ticker Symbol: FDGRX
  • CUSIP: 316200104
  • Beta (3yr): 1.00
  • Rank in category (YTD): 8%
  • Category: Large Growth
  • Distribution: 0.00%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.89%  
  • Net Assets: $ 38.53 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 20 years
  • Number of Years Down: 7 years
  • Average Duration: 20 years
  • Average Maturity: 7 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 36%
Updated on 12/9/2011

Homestead Small Company Fund (HSCSX)

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This next fund, Homestead Small Company Fund, is part of small value US stock mutual fund. This fund invests in domestic small companies stocks. It is also part of the best fund by Morningstar and S&P. You can find the details review below.

Homestead Small Company Fund (HSCSX)

This Homestead Small Company Fund objective is to provide capital growth over the long term period. This top rated fund invests in undervalued stocks of promising small companies. This Homestead fund may invest >80% of assets in common stocks of companies whose market capitalization is similar to the market capitalization of companies represented in the Russell 2000 Index.

Fund Profile
  • Fund Inception Date: March 3, 1998
  • Ticker Symbol: HSCSX
  • CUSIP: 437769508
  • Beta (3yr): 1.20
  • Rank in category (YTD): 41%
  • Category: Small Value
  • Yield: 0.13%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.06%
  • Net Assets: $ 267 million
  • Number of Years Up: 10 years
  • Number of Years Down: 3 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 2%
Updated on 5/25/2012

This Homestead fund has been managed by Stuart E. Teach since its inception in March 1998. The annual expense ratio of this fund is 1.17%. The fund is classified in the Small Value category. The dividend yield of this fund is 0.16%. This dividend is distributed annually; the latest distributed dividend was $0.03 in December 2010.

American Funds Investment Company of America Fund (AIVSX)

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As one of the top mutual fund family, American Funds is also one of the most popular funds. One of these popular funds is American Funds Investment Company of America A (AIVSX) fund. This Investment Company of America fund invests mainly in US companies stocks. Details about the fund review can be found below.

American Funds Investment Company of America A (AIVSX)

The investment objective of American Funds Investment Company of America fund is to provide long-term capital growth and income. This American Funds fund invests mainly in common stocks, most of which have a history of paying dividends. It may invest small part of assets (<15%) in foreign securities. This large blend stock fund focuses its investment in medium to larger capitalization companies, though it may invest in any capitalization size.

Fund Details
American Funds Investment Company of America Fund (AIVSX)
Investment Company of America
  • Fund Inception Date: 01/02/1934
  • Ticker Symbol: AIVSX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 461308108
  • Beta (3yr): 0.93
  • Rank in category (YTD): 62%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Distribution: 2.06%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.61%  
  • Net Assets: $ 55.79 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 63 years

T Rowe Price US Large Cap Core Fund (TRULX)

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This next US domestic stock fund is one of the new funds offered by T Rowe Price. This T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core fund has been awarded Top Mutual Fund for newcomer category by S&P. Details about the fund’s review can be found below.

T Rowe Price US Large Cap Core (TRULX)

The T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core investment fund objective is to achieve long-term capital growth. This US stock fund typically invests most of the net assets (>80%) in the stocks of large-cap U.S. companies, whose market cap is larger than the median market cap of companies in the Russell 1000 Index. This TRP fund expects to typically invest in approximately 50 to 75 companies.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: June 25, 2009
  • Ticker Symbol: TRULX
  • CUSIP: 74149R107
  • Beta (3yr): N/A
  • Rank in category (YTD): 49%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Yield: 0.61%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.15%
  • Net Assets: $ 43.1 million
  • Number of Years Up: 2 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 74%
Updated on 5/26/2012

Jeffrey Rottinghaus is the lead fund manager of this T Rowe Price fund. He has been the manager since its inception in June 26, 2009. Since this fund is new, there is no Morningstar rating yet, but it is recognized as the top S&P mutual fund of 2011. This fund’s dividend yield is 1.07% and is distributed annually. Last year (2010), the dividend was $0.13. The annual expense ratio of this top fund is 1.15% comparable to the average in the Large Blend category (1.14%).

Loomis Sayles Strategic Income Fund (NEFZX) Class A

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The following article is about Loomis Sayles Strategic Income A fund. This Loomis Sayles bond fund is part of taxable multisector fund. It can invest in varieties of bonds or fixed income like government bonds or treasuries, corporate bonds, convertible, foreign debts, and more. Details about this mutual fund can be found below.

Loomis Sayles Strategic Income A (MUTF: NEFZX)

The Loomis Sayles Strategic Income fund seeks high current income and its secondary objective is capital growth. This bond fund invests all of its assets in income producing securities with a focus on U.S. corporate bonds, convertible securities, foreign debt instruments, including those in emerging markets and related foreign currency transactions and U.S. government securities. It may invest >35% of assets in preferred stocks and dividend-paying common stocks. This Loomis Sayles fund may also invest in Rule 144A securities, structured notes, zero-coupon bonds, pay-in-kind bonds, mortgage-related securities, stripped securities, swaps, futures, and other derivatives.

Vanguard Limited Term Tax Exempt Fund (VMLTX)

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Municipal bond funds are among the top performer mutual fund for year 2011. One of the largest muni bond funds is Vanguard Ltd-Term Tx-Ex. This Vanguard fund invests primarily in investment grade municipal bonds. Details about the fund review can be found below.

Vanguard Limited Term Tax Exempt (Ticker: VMLTX)

This Vanguard Limited Term Tax Exempt fund is seeking current income exempt from federal income tax, with limited price volatility. This Vanguard fund invests >75% of assets in municipal bonds in the top three credit-rating categories. It may invest minority of assets (<20%) in bonds rated Baa or BBB. The fund invests <5% of assets in securities with lower credit ratings or unrated.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: August 31, 1987
  • Ticker Symbol: VMLTX
  • CUSIP: 922907704
  • Beta (3yr): 0.33
  • Rank in category (YTD): 52%
  • Category: Muni Short
  • Distribution Rate: 2.23%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.20%
  • Net Assets: $ 14.58 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 23 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Average Duration: 2.8 years
  • Average Maturity: 2.4 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 14.0%
Updated on 12/4/2011

DWS GNMA Fund (GGGGX)

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DWS GNMA fund will become one of the popular bond funds for investor to invest. This fund invests mainly in mortgage backed bond issued and guaranteed by US Government. This top rated S&P mutual fund is being reviewed below.

DWS GNMA A Fund (Ticker: GGGGX)

The DWS GNMA Fund objective is to seek to produce a high level of income. This best bond fund invests majority of net assets (>80%) in Ginnie Maes, the mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA). This DWS fund may also hold <10% of total net assets in cash or money market securities, short-term bond funds, which investments may not be issued or guaranteed by the US government and its agencies.

Fund Profile
  • Fund Inception Date: February 1, 2009
  • Ticker Symbol: GGGGX
  • CUSIP: 23337P308
  • Beta (3yr): 0.64
  • Rank in category (YTD): 47%
  • Category: Intermediate Government
  • Yield: 4.48%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.78%
  • Sales Load: 2.75%
  • Net Assets: $ 2.30 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 3 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 211%
Updated on 5/26/2012

DWS GNMA Fund (GGGGX)
DWS GNMA fund

This DWS fund is classified in the Intermediate Government bond fund category. This best fund is currently managed by John Ryan. He has been managing this fund since July 2010. The inception date of this GGGGX fund is February 2, 1999.

The fund’s total net assets are $2.26 billion. The dividend yield is 4.27%. The last dividend was distributed on September 23, 2011 ($0.06). The annual expense ratio of this taxable bond fund is 0.76%.

YTD Top Performer Closed End Funds December 2011 | CEF

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The following article will look into the YTD top performer CEFs of 2011. The top performer funds include DNP Select Income Fund (DNP), Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT), Invesco Insured Municipal Bond (IMC), and more.

The Year-To-Date Top Performer Closed End Funds December 2011 are:
YTD Top Performer CEFs 2011
  1. DNP Select Income Fund (DNP)
  2. Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)
  3. Invesco Insured Muni Bond (IMC)
  4. BlackRock Build America Bond (BBN)
  5. Flaherty Preferred Income Fund (PFD)
  6. Aberdeen Global Income (FCO)
  7. BlackRock MuniHoldings Quality II (MUE)
  8. Nuveen CA Performance Plus Muni (NCP)
  9. BlackRock Municipal Income Investment Quality Trust (BAF)
  10. BlackRock MuniYield Investment Quality Fund (MFT)
updated on 12/4/2011

Update of Sequoia and T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund

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The following is the updated information for Sequoia Fund and T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund. These funds have been selected as the Top S&P Mutual Funds of 2011. Details for these funds can be found below.

Sequoia fund (SEQUX)

Sequoia fund
Sequoia fund has been selected as the Top S&P Mutual Funds of 2011. This fund invests mainly in undervalued US Companies. It may also invest in foreign securities. This large blend US stock mutual fund has been rated the best fund by Morningstar with 5 star rating. More details about the fund's review can be found on my previous article, Sequoia Fund (SEQUX).

The performance of this SEQUX fund based on the load adjusted return is as below:
  • 1-year: 6.73%
  • 3-year: 3.53%
  • 5-year: 2.55%
  • 10-year: 5.17%

This fund has recorded 34 years of positive return and only 6 years of negative return so far. Morningstar gave this fund 5-star rating. The best achievement of 1-year total return was in 1997 with 43.20% and the worst was in 2008 with -27.03%.

The top 5 holdings of this fund as of June 30, 2011 are Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, TJX Companies, Fastenal Company and Idexx Laboratories.

T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund (TRRIX)

T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund invests in 40% stock funds and 60% bond funds. This balanced fund is managed by Jerome A. Clark. These mutual fund is part of fund of funds.Morningstar has rated this fund 3-star rating. S&P also has awarded this fund with the top mutual fund award of 2011. This TRRIX fund has performed in 7 years of positive return. The 1-year total return was negative so far only in 2008 (-18.39%). The best 1-year total return was achieved in year 2009 (22.07%). Based on the load adjusted return, this fund has returned 0.52% over the past year and 3.19% over the past 3-year.

The top 10 holdings are Emerging Markets Bond Fund, Emerging Markets Bond Fund, Equity Index 500 Fund, High Yield Fund, Inflation Focused Bond Fund, International Bond Fund, International Growth & Income Fund, International Stock Fund, New Income Fund and Overseas Stock Fund.

Disclosure: No Position

Update on Vanguard Selected Value Fund

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I have updated the previous article about Vanguard Selected Value Fund. This top rated mid cap value stock fund is rated one of the best fund by Morningstar and S&P Capital IQ. I have also updated the top 10 stock holdings and the fund's performance for the past one year.

The top 10 stock holdings of this Vanguard Selected Value fund as of October 2011 are Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Constellation Energy Group Inc, Yamana Gold Inc, Discover Financial Services, Coventry Health Care Inc, Goodrich Corp, International Game Technology, Wills Group Holdings PLC, CenterPoint Energy Inc and Capital One Financial Corp.

Please check the article here.

Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares VBIAX

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Balanced mutual fund is one of the most popular mutual funds for long term investor. This hybrid fund invests its assets in bond and stock. One of the top rated balanced funds is Vanguard Balanced Index Fund. More details about the fund review is described below.

Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBIAX)

The investment objective of this Vanguard Balanced Index Fund is to track the performance of a broad, market-weighted bond index and a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall U.S. stock market. With about 60% of assets, it seeks to track the investment performance of the MSCI US Broad Market Index. The fund also seeks to track the investment performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index with 40% of assets.

Fund Details
Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares VBIAX
Vanguard Balanced Index fund
  • Fund Inception Date: November 13, 2000
  • Ticker Symbol: VBIAX (Admiral Shares)
  • CUSIP: 921931200
  • Beta (3yr): 0.95
  • Rank in category (YTD): 8 %
  • Category: Moderate Allocation
  • Distribution: 2.39%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.12%  
  • Net Assets: $ 11.12 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 7 years
  • Number of Years Down: 3 years
  • Average Duration: 7.3 years
  • Average Maturity: 5.1 years
Updated on 12/5/2011

Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio Inv HLMNX

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This next mutual fund is also the Top S&P Mutual Fund for 2011. The Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio is an international stock fund which invests in foreign companies in term of common stocks, preferred, warrants, convertibles, derivative, etc. You can find the fund’s review below.

Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio, Investor (HLMNX)

The investment objective of Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio fund is to provide long-term capital appreciation. This top foreign large growth fund invests in companies based in developed markets outside the U.S., and in established companies in emerging or frontier markets.

It generally invests majority of net assets in common stocks, preferred stock, rights and warrants issued by companies that are based outside the United States, securities convertible into such securities (including Depositary Receipts), and investment companies that invest in the types of securities in which the fund would normally invest. The fund may also invest in derivatives. This fund typically holds 35-75 investments across at least 15 countries.

Fund Details
Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio
  • Fund Inception Date: 09/30/2005
  • Ticker Symbol: HLMNX
  • CUSIP: 412295503
  • Beta (3yr): 0.96
  • Rank in category (YTD): 30%
  • Category: Foreign Large Growth
  • Distribution: 0.17%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.25%  
  • Net Assets: $ 1.16 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 4 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
Updated on 11/27/2011

Dreyfus Appreciation Fund (DGAGX)

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The following fund is another top rated Morningstar and top S&P mutual fund. This Dreyfus Appreciation Fund is part of large blend US Domestic Stock fund. More details about this fund review can be found below.

Dreyfus Appreciation Fund (DGAGX)

This Dreyfus Appreciation fund seeks long-term growth consistent with the capital preservation. It also tries to provide current income as secondary objective. This US Stock fund invests >80% of net assets in common stock. It focuses on blue chip companies with total market capitalizations of >$5 billion at the time of purchase, including multi-national companies.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: January 18, 1984
  • Ticker Symbol: DGAGX
  • CUSIP: 261970-10-7
  • Beta (3yr): 0.85
  • Rank in category (YTD): 88%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Yield: 1.69%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.97%
  • Net Assets: $ 4.8 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 23 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 2.59%
Updated on 5/26/2012

This domestic stock fund employs a "buy-and-hold" investment strategy, which is an investment strategy characterized by a low portfolio turnover rate, which helps reduce the fund's trading costs and minimizes tax liability by limiting the distribution of capital gains.

This DGAGX fund has been managed by Fayez Sarofim since its inception in January 18, 1984. This fund is in the Large Blend category. It has dividend yield of 1.16%.  The total net assets of this Dreyfus fund are $3.6 billion. The annual expense ratio of this fund is lower (0.99%) compared to the average in the Large Blend category (1.14%).

YTD Top Performer Non Leveraged ETF of Nov 2011

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In my previous article, I have provided the list of the YTD Top Performer Mutual Funds of 2011. This list includes non-leverage and leverage Exchange Traded Funds. These non-leverage YTD top performer ETFs may be more desirable for regular investor. The top performers are PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury Index, Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index ETF, iPath US Treasury 10-year Bull ETN, and more. From this list, bond funds and volatility funds are among the top performer for year 2011.

The 10 YTD Top Performer Non Leveraged ETFs of Nov 2011 are:
Top Performer ETF
  1. PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury Index ETF (ZROZ)
  2. Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index ETF (EDV)
  3. iPath US Treasury 10-year Bull ETN (DTYL)
  4. iPath US Treasury Long Bond Bull ETN (DLBL)
  5. iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)
  6. iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX)
  7. SPDR Barclays Capital Long Term Treasury (TLO)
  8. VelocityShares Long VIX Short Term ETN (VIIX)
  9. Vanguard Long-Term Government Bond Index ETF (VGLT)
  10. PIMCO 15+ Year US TIPS Index ETF (LTPZ)
Note: There is no leverage fund and bear fund in this list. YTD = Year-To-Date

American Funds High Income Trust Fund (AHITX) Class A

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With $15 billion total asset, this American Funds American High Income Trust is one of the most popular taxable high yield bond funds. This fund also has a high distribution rate of 8.54%. You can find the fund review below.

American Funds American High Income Trust A (AHITX)

This American Funds American High Income Trust fund objective is to provide a high level of current income. The fund’s secondary investment objective is to achieve capital appreciation. This fund invests primarily in higher yielding and generally lower quality debt including corporate loan obligations. It may also invest a portion of its assets in securities of foreign issuers.

Fund Details
American Funds High Income Trust Fund (AHITX) Class A
The American High Income Trust A
  • Fund Inception Date: February 19, 1988
  • Ticker Symbol: AHITX
  • CUSIP: 026547109
  • Beta (3yr): 0.71
  • Rank in category (YTD): 61%
  • Category: High Yield Bond
  • Distribution: 8.54%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.68%  
  • Net Assets: $ 15.98 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 18 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Average Duration: 3.7 years
  • Average Life: 5.9 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 47.0%
Updated on 11/13/2011

YTD Top Performer Exchange Traded Funds of Nov 2011 ETF

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The following is the list of the YTD top performer ETFs for 2011. The top performers include PowerShares DB 3x Lonng 25+ Year Treasury Bond ETN (LBND), Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 3X Shares (TMF), ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury (UBT), and more. Most of these top performer funds are part of bond funds, bear market, and gold commodity funds (leverage and non-leverage). I also provide the details of fund’s review below. If you are interested in top performer mutual fund, you can check my article of YTD Top Performer Mutual Funds of November 2011.

Note: This list includes leveraged and non-leveraged ETFs / ETNs. ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds are traded like stock in stock exchanges like NYSE, Nasdaq, AMEX, etc. ETN = Exchange Traded Notes.

The 10 YTD Top Performer Exchange Traded Funds of November 2011 are:
YTD Top Performer ETFs
  1. PowerShares DB 3x Long 25+ Year Treasury Bond ETN (LBND)
  2. Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 3X Shares (TMF)
  3. ProShares Ultra 20+ Year Treasury (UBT)
  4. Direxion Daily India Bear 2X Shares (INDZ)
  5. PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury Index ETF (ZROZ)
  6. Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index ETF (EDV)
  7. iPath Short Extended Russell 2000 TR ETN (RTSA)
  8. iPath Short Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets ETN (EMSA)
  9. ProShares UltraShort MSCI Brazil (BZQ)
  10. Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bull 3X Shares (TYD)

USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX)

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As one of the top S&P mutual funds, this USAA World Growth Fund is classified as world stock fund. This fund focuses on investing in U.S. domestic and foreign companies. Details about this best fund review can be found below.

USAA World Growth Fund (Ticker: USAWX)

This USAA World Growth fund objective is to seek capital appreciation. This world stock fund invests assets mainly in equity securities of both foreign and domestic companies. It may invest in companies of any size or capitalization.

This top fund will prioritize on companies with large market capitalizations. It may invest a relatively large percentage of its assets in a single country, a small number of countries, or a particular geographic region. Investments are selected primarily based on fundamental analysis of issuers by the fund’s management.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 10/1/1992
  • Ticker Symbol: USAWX
  • CUSIP: 903287704
  • Beta (3yr): 0.85
  • Rank in category (YTD): 28%
  • Category: World Stock
  • Distribution: 0.61%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.29% 
  • Net Assets: $ 587.74 million
  • Number of Years Up: 14 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
Updated on 04/26/2012

Top Mutual Funds of 2011 by S&P Capital IQ

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On October 2011, S&P Capital IQ announced its U.S. Mutual Fund Excellence Awards Program for year 2011 (ending August 31st). This list includes USAA World Growth Fund (USAWX), Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio Investor, Dreyfus Appreciation Fund, T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund, and more. More details about this list can be found in Financial Advisor Magazine.

Top S&P Mutual Funds 2011

The S&P Top Mutual Funds of 2011 are:
  • U.S. Domestic Large Cap: Dreyfus Appreciation
  • U.S. Domestic Mid Cap:  Vanguard Selected Value Fund
  • U.S. Domestic Small Cap: Homestead Small Company Fund
  • U.S. Domestic Multicap: Sequoia Fund
  • International Equity: Harding Loevner International Equity Portfolio Investor
  • Global Equity: USAA World Growth Fund
  • Taxable Fixed Income: DWS GNMA Fund
  • Balanced Individual Securities: Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares
  • Balanced Fund of Funds: T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Fund
  • New Fund: T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core

Updated on 11/25/2011

Vanguard Intermediate Term Investment Grade VFICX Inv Fund

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Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade fund is considered as one of the top rated taxable bond mutual fund. This Vanguard fund is actively managed and has low expense ratio. Details about this fund can be found below. You can also fund other best rated fund in my MEPB Financial website.

Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Investor (VFICX)

This Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade fund (investor class) seeks to provide a moderate and sustainable level of current income. This Vanguard fund invests in a variety of high-quality and, to a lesser extent, medium-quality fixed income securities, <80% of which will be short- and intermediate-term investment-grade securities. This bond fund will keep a dollar-weighted average maturity of 5 to 10 years.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: November 1, 1993
  • Ticker Symbol: VFICX
  • CUSIP: 922031885
  • Beta (3yr): 1.35
  • Rank in category (YTD): 8%
  • Category: Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Distribution Rate: 4.29%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.22%  
  • Net Assets: $15.11 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 14 years
  • Number of Years Down: 3 years
  • Average Duration: 5.4 years
  • Average Maturity: 6.6 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 39.0%
Updated on 11/15/2011

YTD Top Performer Mutual Funds Nov 2011

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The following is the list of the Year-To-Date top performer mutual funds of 2011. The list includes Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Institutional, PIMCO Extended Duration Institutional, Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury, and more. Most of these top performers are bond funds especially Treasury bond and long term government bond.
YTD Top Performer Funds 2011

The 10 YTD Top Performer Funds 2011 include:
  1. Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Institutional
  2. PIMCO Extended Duration Institutional
  3. ProFunds US Government Plus Inv
  4. Rydex Govt Long Bond 1.2x Strategy Inv
  5. Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury
  6. American Century Zero Coupon 2025 Inv
  7. Fidelity Spartan Long Term Treasury Bond Index Inv
  8. Direxion Monthly 10 Year Note Bull 2X
  9. Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Inv
  10. Vanguard Long-Term Government Bond Index Institutional
Updated on 11/22/2011


JPMorgan Core Bond Fund (PGBOX) Class A

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This next bond fund invests primarily in investment grade bonds including corporate bond, US Treasuries, Mortgage based bond, etc. This JPMorgan Core Bond A is also one of the most popular fixed income fund hence it has $21 Billion total assets. Details review can be viewed below.

JPMorgan Core Bond A (PGBOX)

The investment objective of JPMorgan Core Bond fund is to maximize total return. This JPM fund is designed to maximize total return by investing in a portfolio of investment grade intermediate- and long-term bonds. This popular bond fund will invest at majority of assets (>80%) in bonds. The fund’s average weighted maturity will ordinarily range between 4 and 12 years.

Fund Details
JPMorgan Core Bond A fund
  • Fund Inception Date: May 1, 1992
  • Ticker Symbol: PGBOX
  • CUSIP: 4812C0357
  • Beta (3yr): 0.73
  • Rank in category (YTD): 25%
  • Category: Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Distribution Rate: 3.50%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.74%  
  • Net Assets: $ 21.14 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 16 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
  • Average Duration: 4.33 years
  • Average Maturity: 5.68 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 24.0%
Updated on 11/15/2011

Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund (VBISX) Investor Shares

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This next fund review is another Vanguard index mutual fund. This index bond fund is Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index fund. This short term bond fund has low expense fee and best rated fund by Morningstar. More review is below.

Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Investor (Ticker: VBISX)

This Vanguard Short Term Bond Index fund’s objective is to seek to track the performance of a market-weighted bond index with a short-term dollar-weighted average maturity. This Vanguard fund uses passive management approach to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-5 Year Government/ Credit Float Adjusted Index. This fund invests >80% of assets in bonds held in the index. The fund maintains a dollar-weighted average maturity consistent with that of the index, which generally less than 3 years.

Fund Details
Vanguard Short Term Bond Index
  • Fund Inception Date: March 1, 1994
  • Ticker Symbol: VBISX
  • CUSIP: 921937207
  • Beta (3yr): 0.47
  • Rank in category (YTD): 11%
  • Category: Short-Term Bond
  • Distribution: 1.89%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.22%  
  • Net Assets: $ 23.22 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 16 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Average Duration: 2.6 years
  • Average Maturity: 2.7 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 60.0%
Updated on 11/12/2011

Thornburg International Growth Fund (TIGAX)

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Investing internationally is important for investor because of the global economy. Finding the right international companies to invest in can be challenging. The easiest way is to find the best rated international equity mutual fund. Thornburg International Growth A fund is one of the top international stock funds. Details fund’s review is described below.

Thornburg International Growth A (MUTF: TIGAX)

The Thornburg International Growth investment fund objective is to achieve long-term growth of capital. This Foreign Large Growth Equity fund invests mainly in companies stocks around the world with growth potential. It may own a variety of securities, including debt securities or bonds. The fund may invest in developing countries and in smaller companies with market capitalizations of <$500 million.

TIGAX Fund Details
Thornburg International Growth fund
  • Fund Inception Date: February 1, 2007
  • Ticker Symbol: TIGAX
  • CUSIP: 885-215-319 
  • Beta (3yr): 0.93
  • Rank in category (YTD): 2%
  • Category: Foreign Large Growth
  • Distribution: 0.23%
  • Net Assets: $ 196.33 million
  • Sales Load: 4.50%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.60%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 2 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
updated on 10/19/2011

Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Fund (VWITX)

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Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt fund (VWITX) is top muni bond mutual fund.

Municipal bond mutual fund can be attractive if you are on higher income tax rate. The income from this fund is tax free from federal tax rate (possibly states tax and local tax). One of the popular muni bond funds is Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Fund. Below is the fund’s review.

Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Inv (MUTF: VWITX)

The Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Fund invests mainly (>75% of assets) in investment grade rated municipal bonds. It may also small part of its assets (<25%) in high yield municipal bonds (junk rated). As any muni bond fund, this fund’s objective is to offer moderate and sustainable current income that is not subjected to federal personal income taxes.
Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt

VWITX Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 09/01/1977
  • Ticker Symbol: VWITX (Investor Shares)
  • CUSIP: 922907209
  • Beta (3yr): 0.91
  • Rank in category (YTD): 34%
  • Category: Muni National Intermediate
updated on 10/27/2011

American Funds Bond Fund of America A (ABNDX)

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American Funds is among the leader of mutual fund family. It offers variety of mutual funds including fixed income or bond funds, balanced funds, and equity or stock funds. One of the most popular funds is American Funds Bond Fund of America A fund. Details review is below.

American Funds Bond Fund of America A (ABNDX)

The American Funds Bond Fund of America fund’s objective is to provide as high a level of current income with consistent capital preservation. The fund generally invests >80% of assets in bonds and other fixed income securities. It invests a majority of its assets in debt securities rated A3/A- or better which is issued or guaranteed by US Government or other governments (including mortgages and other assets). It may invest its assets in corporate debts, mortgage related debts, and high yield bonds. This American Funds fund invests in debt securities with a wide range of maturities.

Fund Details
American Funds Bond Fund of America A (ABNDX)
American Funds Bond Fund of America A
  • Fund Inception Date: May 28, 1974
  • Ticker Symbol: ABNDX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 097873103
  • Beta (3yr): 0.95
  • Rank in category (YTD): 33%
  • Category: Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Distribution: 3.33%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.59%  
  • Net Assets: $ 33.15 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 34 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
  • Average Duration: 4.72 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 99.0%
Updated on 11/4/2011

Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

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One of the most popular index funds is Vanguard 500 Index fund. This Vanguard fund has low fee and has rated among the best fund by Morningstar. This fund track S&P 500 index performance and it is managed passively. Details about the fund’s review are below.

Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares (VFINX)

Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
Vanguard 500 Index fund details
The investment objective of this Vanguard 500 index fund is to track the S&P 500 index performance which measures the large-capitalization stocks investment returns. The fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the index performance. This Standard & Poor 500 index is a widely recognized benchmark of U.S. stock market performance that is dominated by the stocks of large U.S. companies.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 08/31/1976
  • Ticker Symbol: VFINX (Investor Shares)
  • CUSIP: 922908108
  • Beta (3yr): 1.00
  • Rank in category (YTD): 18%
  • Category: Large Blend
Updated on 11/6/2011

American Funds SMALLCAP World Fund (SMCWX) Class A

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This next world stock fund has invested in small cap / mid cap international stocks. American Funds SMALLCCAP World A fund is another popular mutual fund for investor. Investor can use this fund for portfolio diversification. More details about the fund’s review can be found below.

American Funds SMALLCAP World A (Ticker: SMCWX)

American Funds SMALLCAP World Fund (SMCWX) Class A
American Funds SMALLCAP World
The investment objective of American Funds SMALLCAP World A (SMCWX) fund is to achieve long-term growth of capital. This American Funds fund invests >80% of net assets in growth-oriented common stocks and other equity-type securities, including preferred stocks, convertible preferred stocks, and convertible bonds, of companies with small market capitalizations.

According to the fund’s prospectus, the small capitalization companies are companies with market capitalizations of $3.5 billion or less. This international stock fund invests majority of its assets outside the United States.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: April 30, 1990
  • Ticker Symbol: SMCWX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 831681101
  • Beta (3yr): 0.98
  • Rank in category (YTD): 87%
  • Category: World Stock
Updated on 11/7/2011

Franklin Income A (FKINX) Fund

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This next mutual fund has delivered a record of consistent dividend for the past 60 years. This fund is Franklin Income A fund. This fund is classified as conservative allocation balanced fund. More details on fund’s review can be found below.

Franklin Income A (MUTF: FKINX)

The investment objective of Franklin Income A fund is to maximize income while maintaining prospects for capital appreciation. The fund typically invests in a diversified portfolio of bonds and stocks. It may invest <100% of total assets in debt securities that are rated below investment grade, including a portion in defaulted securities. The fund maintains the flexibility to invest in securities of companies from a variety of sectors, though it may favor certain sectors. The fund may also invest < 25% of assets in foreign stocks or bonds and invest <10% of net assets in equity-linked notes.

Fund Details
Franklin Income A fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: 08/31/1948
  • Ticker Symbol:  FKINX (Share Class A)
  • CUSIP: 353496300
  • Beta (3yr): 1.04
  • Rank in category (YTD): 86%
  • Category: Conservative Allocation
  • Sales Load: 4.25%
  • Number of Years Up: 50 years
  • Number of Years Down: 12 years
Updated on 11/5/2011

PIMCO Low Duration Fund (PTLAX)

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This next fund, PIMCO Low Duration A, is part of best taxable bond funds. This fund is rated with 4 stars by Morningstar. It is categorized as short term bond fund. More details about the fund’s review can be found below.

PIMCO Low Duration A (Ticker: PTLAX)

PIMCO Low Duration Fund (PTLAX)
PIMCO Low Duration A
The investment objective of PIMCO Low Duration Fund is to provide maximum total return. This PIMCO fund invests >65% of total assets in a diversified portfolio of Fixed Income Instruments of varying maturities. It invests mainly in investment-grade debt securities, but may invest <10% of total assets in high-yield securities rated B or higher by rating agencies. The fund may invest <30% of total assets in securities denominated in non US currencies, and may invest beyond this limit in U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: January 13, 1997
  • Ticker Symbol: PTLAX
  • CUSIP: 693390411
  • Beta (3yr): 0.28
  • Rank in category (YTD): 59%
  • Category: Short-Term Bond
  • Distribution: 1.93%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.85%  
  • Net Assets: $ 21.34 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 12 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
  • Average Duration: 3.83 years
  • Average Maturity: 2.94 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 461.0%
Updated on 11/8/2011

Top Performer Closed End Funds of Nov 2011 for Week 44

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The following is the top performer CEFs (Closed End Funds) for week 44 of 2011. The top performing funds include Eaton Vance Ohio Municipal Bond (EIO), Equus Total Return (EQS), Invesco Insured Municipal Bond (IMC), ClearBridge Energy MLP Opportunity (EMO), etc.

The 12 Top Performer Closed End Funds CEFs 2011 (Week 44) are:
Weekly Top Performer CEFs 2011
  1. Eaton Vance Ohio Municipal Bond (EIO)
  2. Equus Total Return (EQS)
  3. Invesco Insured Municipal Bond (IMC)
  4. ClearBridge Energy MLP Opportunity (EMO)
  5. Western Asset Global Partners Income (GDF)
  6. Guggenheim Build America Bond Managed Duration (GBAB)
  7. Nuveen CA Select Quality Municipal (NVC)
  8. BlackRock Municpial Bond Investment (BIE)
  9. RENN Global Entrepreneurs (RCG)
  10. PCM Fund (PCM)
  11. Dreyfus Strategy Muni Bond (DSM)
  12. Invesco CA Quality Municipal (IQC)
Note: Week 44 = October 31, 2011 till November 6, 2011

Montrusco Bolton Quantitative Canadian Equity Fund Review

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The following is the fund's review of another Canadian Equity Mutual Fund. Montrusco Bolton Quantitative Canadian Equity fund is another popular option for investor to invest in mutual fund.

Montrusco Bolton Quantitative Canadian Equity

Montrusco Bolton Quantitative Canadian Equity
The fundamental investment objective of the Quantitative Canadian Equity Fund is to achieve long-term growth of capital through the investment of its assets in a very concentrated group of stocks included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index and traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The lead manager of this fund is Ismael Chiadmi. This fund was introduced to public in February 1996. It has 1.21% annual expense ratio. This fund applies higher minimum initial investment of $150.000. There is no sales load fee. The benchmark of this fund is S&P/TSX Composite Index.

The top sector exposure of this fund as of June 2011 is Energy (28.7%), Information Technology (19.4%), Health Care (19.2%) and Materials (9.6%). The top ten holdings of this fund as of March 2011 represent 97.13% of the total portfolio. They are Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl. (11.89%), Precision Drilling (10.72%), Lundin Mining (9.83%), First Quantum Minerals (9.60%), Silver Wheaton (9.52%), Baytex Energy Corp. (9.36%), Viterra Inc. (9.23%), Trican Well Service (9.15%), Ivanhoe Mines (9.02%) and Suncor Energy (8.81%).

The risks investing in this fund include currency risk, interest rate risk, price risk, credit risk and liquidity risk.

American Funds Washington Mutual A (AWSHX) Fund

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The following American Funds Washington Mutual A fund is among the oldest and popular US stock mutual fund. This us equity fund is also among the largest mutual fund. Details about the fund’s review can be found below.

American Funds Washington Mutual A (MUTF: AWSHX)

The investment objective of American Funds Washington Mutual A fund is to provide income and to provide an opportunity for growth of principal consistent with sound common stock investing. This US stock fund invests mainly in common stocks of established companies that are listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and have a strong record of dividends and earnings.
American Funds Washington Mutual A (AWSHX) Fund

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 07/31/1952
  • Ticker Symbol: AWSHX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 939330106
  • Beta (3yr): 0.92
  • Category: Large Value
  • Number of Years Up: 46 years
  • Number of Years Down: 12 years
  • Sales Load: 5.75% (Front End)
Updated on 11/4/2011

Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund (VEIEX)

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Known for its index mutual funds, Vanguard offers brokerage service and exchange traded funds as well. One of the most popular index funds is Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index fund. This fund invests mainly in emerging market countries stocks. This fund may be suitable for long term investors who wish to diversify his/her portfolio. More reviews can be found below.

Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX)

Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Idx
This Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index fund’s objective is to track the MSCI Emerging Markets Index performance. This passively managed fund invests most of its assets (>95%) in the stocks included in the index.

This Vanguard fund tracks 21 emerging market countries equity returns such as Russia, China, India, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, etc. Please note: This EM equity fund may be more volatile than US domestic stock fund or other developed countries stock fund, though it may provide higher long term returns.

As mentioned before, this fund uses indexing approached to manage its assets. The fund’s manager is Michael Perre since 2008. The total net assets are $50.78 Billion. It also has a yield of 1.87%. This fund’s expense ratio is 0.35%. This fee is lower than the average category of 1.67%. As any typical Vanguard fund, there is no sales load.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: February 26, 1999
  • Ticker Symbol: VEIEX
  • CUSIP: 922042304
  • Beta (3yr): 1.10
  • Rank in category (YTD): 61 %
  • Category: diversified emerging markets
  • Yield: 1.96%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.33%
  • Net Assets: $ 67.7 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 10 years
  • Number of Years Down: 7 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 10%
Updated on 5/28/2012

This Diversified Emerging Market Stock fund is rated with 3 stars rating by Morningstar. It has the best 1 year total return in 2009 with 75.98% and the worst 1 year total return in 2008 with -52.81%. This EM stock fund has returned -17.63% over the past 1 year, 4.98% over the past 3 year, and 15.26% over the past 10 year.

This fund can be bought from 52 brokerages such as Vanguard, Northwestern Mutual, Schwab Retail, ETrade No Load Fee, Matrix Financial Solutions, Scottrade TF, etc. Investor may buy this Vanguard fund with $3,000 minimum investment for regular brokerage account and for retirement (IRA) account. This fund requires $100 for the minimum subsequent investment. The other class of this fund is the Admiral Shares (Ticker: VEMAX), Institutional Class (VEMIX), Institutional Plus (VEMRX), Signal Class (VERSX), and ETF (Ticker: VWO). The expense ratio of VEMRX is 0.12%.

Investing in this fund may include risks such as stock market risk, emerging markets risk, index sampling risk, currency and political risks.

As of October 2011, this fund has a total of 914 stocks. The median market cap is $15.4 Billion. The turnover rate is 16.2%. The top 10 largest holdings are Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Vale SA, China Mobile Ltd, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, Gazprom OAO, America Movil SAB de CV, Itau Unibanco Holding SA, Hyundai Motor Co, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

Pros:
  • Low expense ratio fee
  • No sales load

Disclosure: No Position

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