Best Performer Conservative Allocation Balanced Funds 2011: Part 2

If you miss my part 1 article, please check Top Performer Conservative Allocation Balanced Mutual Funds 2011: Pt 1. This article will provide 6 additional top performer conservative allocation balance fund. As discussed before, balanced fund is one of the easiest ways for conservative investor to invest in mutual fund.

This fund is also very popular among retiree and near retirement people. This balanced fund, also known as hybrid fund, can invest in variety of investment such as equity (stock), bond (fixed income), preferred stock, convertible, foreign stock or bond, bank loan, etc. The fund list is sorted based on the year to date fund performance in 2011 (up to May 17th, 2011).

Best Performer Conservative Allocation Balanced Mutual Funds of May 2011 - Part 2:
    Best Performer Conservative Allocation Balanced Funds Part 2
  1. SunAmerica 2020 High Watermark A
  2. Natixis Income Diversified A
  3. Catalyst/SMH Total Return Income A
  4. Fifth Third Strategic Inc A
  5. API Efficient Frontier Income A
  6. Permanent Portfolio
  7. WHG Income Opportunity A
  8. IMS Strategic Income
  9. Thrivent Diversified Income Plus A
  10. MFS Diversified Income A
updated on 05/19/2011

Permanent Portfolio (Ticker: PRPFX)

Permanent PortfolioPermanent Portfolio fund objective is to preserve and increase the purchasing power value of its shares over the long term. The fund has a fixed target percentage of net assets that are invested in gold and silver, Swiss franc assets, U.S. and foreign real estate and natural resource stocks, aggressive growth stocks and U.S. treasury bills, bonds and other dollar assets.
Since May 2003, this Permanent fund is managed by Michael J. Cuggino.

This fund was formally introduced to retail investor in December 1982. The minimum balance to open a brokerage or IRA account for this fund is $1,000 and a minimum of $100 for the subsequent investment. There is no 12b1 fee as well as no sales-load fee for investing in PRPFX. The annual expense ratio of this fund (0.77%) is lower than the average (0.86%).

The performance of this balanced fund is as below:
  • 1-year: 22.43%
  • 3-years: 10.95%
  • 5-years: 10.34%
  • 10-years: 12.00%
The PRPFX fund has a 10.34% of 5-year average return with 8.56% of year-to-date return. Since its inception, the fund has 24 years of positive return (the best return occurred in 2003 with 20.45%) and 4 years of negative return (the worst return is -8.36%).

PRPFX can be purchased from 88 brokerages include T Rowe Price, JP Morgan, Td Ameritrade Inc, Schwab Retail, Morgan Stanley Advisors, Royal Alliance, Vanguard NTF, Common Wealth NTF, etc.

The top ten holdings of this fund are Cash & Cash Equivalents (17.50%), Gold Coins (12.84%), Gold Bullion (6.16%), Silver Bullion (5.79%), U.S. Treasury Bonds 7.25% 5-15-16 (1.26%), U.S. Treasury Bonds 6.25% 8-15-23 (1.26%), U.S. Treasury Bonds 6.00% 2-15-26 (1.24%), U.S. Treasury Bonds 5.25% 11-15-28 (1.15%), U.S. Treasury Notes 4.25% 11-15-14 (1.11%) and U.S. Treasury Notes 4.25% 11-15-13 (1.10%).

WHG Income Opportunity A (Ticker: WWIAX)

WHG Income Opportunity AThe investment objective of WHG Income Opportunity fund is seeking to provide current income. This fund puts capital appreciation in long term period as a secondary objective. The net asset of this fund is normally invested in dividend-paying securities, as well as interest-bearing securities. It seeks to invest in securities of strong companies that have strong cash flow. The cash flow is sufficient enough to support a sustainable income stream for investors. It usually invests in domestic companies’ securities with any capitalization range, but it may also invest in foreign securities and ADRs.

John D. Vandermosten has managed this WWIAX fund since April 2008, six months after its inception. The minimum balance to invest in this fund, for either brokerage or IRA account, is $5,000. There is no minimum subsequent investment needed. The 12b1 fee is 0.25% and there is 5.0% front-end sales load. This WWIAX fund has 1.15% annual expense ratio, which is bit higher than the average in the conservative allocation balanced fund category (0.86%).

This best balanced fund has returned 8.91% over the past one year and 5.68% over the past five years. It has recorded the best one year return in 2010 with 13.34% return. WWIAX has a 5-star rating from Morningstar. The other class of this fund is WHG Income Opportunity Institutional Class (Ticker: WHGIX).

This fund can be purchased from 33 brokerages, such as Scottrade Load, JP Morgan, Schwab Retail, Raymond James, Bear Stearns Load, RBC Wealth Management-Network, Pershing FundCenter, etc.

The top 10 holdings of this fund as of March 2011 are GAP Inc, Du Pont De Nemours, Abbott Laboratories, Exxon Mobil Cor, Southern Co, Comcast Corp, Johnson & Johns, General Mills Inc, Raytheon and PG & E Corp.

IMS Strategic Income (Ticker: IMSIX)

The investment in IMS Strategic Income fund seeks for current income at the first place. For this fund, seeking for capital appreciation is a secondary objective. The majority of the assets (at least 80%) are invested in dividend paying or other income producing securities. There is no specific requirement for duration or maturity of the securities. It may invest up to 35% of its assets in domestic high yield fixed income securities.

This best performing fund is managed by Carl W. Marker since its inception in November 2002. The minimum initial investment for either brokerage or IRA account is $5,000. If you are interested to invest in this fund, there is no 12b1 fee and no sales-load fee as well. The last dividend distributed in April 2011 is 0.05%. The expense ratio of this fund is 2.01% per year. This expense ratio is higher than the average in the category which is 0.86%.

This conservative allocation balanced fund has returned 11.11% over the past one year and 0.69% over the past three years. The best 1-year total return was in 2009 with 32.45%, while the best 3-year total return was 8.66%. The worst 1-year total return was in 2008 with -39.31%, while the worst 3-year total return was -10.87%.

The IMSIX fund can be purchased from 59 brokerages include Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Vanguard NTF, Ameritas NTF P, Scottrade NTF, Bear Stearns, Firstrade, Schwab Retail, LPL Sam Eligible, Pershing Fund Center, etc.

Thrivent Diversified Income Plus A (Ticker: AAHYX)

Thrivent Diversified Income Plus fund objective is to maintain long term capital appreciation while maximizing the income. It normally invests in a portfolio of equity and debt securities that may include high-yield, high-risk bonds, debentures, notes and other debt obligations (junk bonds). These securities are considered to be of compared quality at the time of purchase even though it may be rated below investment-grade at the time of purchase. There is no certain maturity selection for this fund.

Thrivent Diversified Income Plus AThis fund is managed by Paul R. Ocenasek since December 2004. The minimum balance to invest in brokerage account of this fund is $1,000 and $500 for IRA account. Both accounts require a minimum of $50 subsequent investment. The 12b1 fee (i.e. management fee) for this fund is 0.25%. There is also a front-end sales load fee of 4.5%. AAHYX has an expense ratio of 1.12% per year.

The performance of this fund is as below:
  • 1-year: 9.42%
  • 3-year: 5.31%
  • 5-year: 5.06%
  • 10-year: 6.07%
Since its inception, this fund has experienced 7 years of positive return and 6 years of negative return. The year-to-date return is 5.68%.

AAHYX fund can be purchased from a limited of 5 brokerages only, which are Fidelity Institutional FundsNetwork, Fidelity Institutional FundsNetwork-NTF, Daily Access Corporation RTC, Daily Access Corporation FRIAG and Thrivent Advisory Eligible. There is no other class for this fund.

This fund has recorded a high holdings turnover yearly. As of May 2011, it has recorded a 112.00% turnover, while the average turnover is 58.23%. As of March 2011, the top ten equity holdings are iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index Fund (1.28%), Vanguard REIT ETF (1.24%), Chevron Corporation (1.09%), AT&T Inc (0.96%), Exxon Mobil Corporation (0.90%), MASTR Alternative Loans Trust (0.88%), Conoco Phillips (0.87%), Pfizer Inc (0.85%), Philip Morris International Inc (0.78%) and Deutsche Alt-A Securities Inc (0.77%).

MFS Diversified Income A

The investment in MFS Diversified Income is seeking for a total return by emphasizing on current income. Although seeking for current income, it also considers for gaining capital appreciation. It invests primarily in a broad range of debt instruments and equity securities, including securities that are related to real estate and convertible securities. The fund focuses in dividend-paying stocks and/ or in the stocks of companies that are value companies for the equity portion. While for the debt portion, it invests in all types of corporate and government debt instruments of U.S. and foreign issues.

MFS Diversified Income AThe minimum balance to invest in this fund is $1,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA account. There is no minimum subsequent investment for brokerage account, but IRA account requires $50 minimum subsequent investment. This DIFAX fund has 0.25% 12b1 fee and 4.75% front-end sales load fee. DIFAX has higher annual expense ratio (1.06%) than the category average expense (0.86%).

It has returned 7.81% over the past year and 5.46% over the past three years. Record shown that the best total 1-year return was in 2009 with 30.26% return.

This fund is managed by James T. Swanson since May 2006. DIFAX can be purchased from 69 brokerages include Firstrade, Scottrade Load, TD Ameritrade Inc, JP Morgan, Edward Jones, Ameriprise SPS Advantage, etc. The other class of this fund is class C (Ticker: DIFCX).

As of May 2011, this fund annual turnover is 59.0%, while the average is only 58.23%. The top 10 holdings of this fund as of March 2011 are United States Treasury Note 1.375, Simon Property Group Inc, United States Treasury Note 2.750, AGCY – MBS FNMA, United States Treasury Note 2.125, United States Treasury Note 5.25, Public Storage REIT, United States Treasury Note 1.875, Chevron Corp and Vornado Realty Trust REIT. These 10 holdings represent 14.2% of total net assets.

Vanguard Wellesley Income Inv (VWINX)

This next fund easily can be the top performer fund in any year. Vanguard Wellesley Income fund is one of the premier Vanguard funds with 5 stars rating from Morningstar. The objective of Vanguard Wellesley Income fund is to provide long term income growth. This fund is also seeking to provide sustainable level of current income along with moderate long-term capital appreciation.

The 60% to 65% of its assets are invested in U.S. Treasury, investment-grade corporate and government agency bonds. The remaining 35% to 40% assets are invested in common stocks of above-average dividends companies.

Since June 2008, John C. Keogh has managed this fund. The minimum initial investment for this fund is $3,000 for either brokerage or IRA account with $100 of subsequent investment. For investing in this fund, there is no management fee and no sales-load fee. This fund distributes 3.56% dividend yearly. The last dividend distributed in March 2011 is 0.19%.

VWINX fund has the lowest expense ratio annually compared to the other bonds described here. The expense ratio is 0.28% yearly. The fund’s annual turnover is 30.00%. As of May 2011, the fund asset is allocated as follow 58.14% bonds, 38.48% stocks, and 3.38% short term reserves. The top 5 equity sectors are consumer staples (18.9%), energy (13.8%), industrials (13.6%), health care (12.8%), and financials (10.9%). The bond portion portfolio has an average duration of 5.7 years.

There are totals of 585 holdings (528 bonds and 57 stocks). The 10 largest equity holdings include Chevron Corp, Pfizer Inc, Home Depot Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc, Merck & Co Inc, AT&T Inc, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and General Electric Co. The top 4 bond issuers include industrial bonds (34.1%), finance bonds (32.3%), government mortgage backed (7.1%), and utilities bond (6.8%).

Disclosure: No Position

NoFund DescriptionTickerYieldMorningstar RatingNet Assets (Mil)Expense RatioMin to Invest
6Permanent PortfolioPRPFX0.58%5$13,490 0.77%$1,000
7WHG Income Opportunity AWWIAX2.17%5$393 1.15%$5,000
8IMS Strategic IncomeIMSIX8.51%1$42 2.01%$5,000
9Thrivent Diversified Income Plus AAAHYX4.84%3$208 1.12%$1,000
10MFS Diversified Income ADIFAX3.97%3$495 1.06%$1,000
--Vanguard Wellesley Income InvVWINX3.56%5$21,740 0.28%$3,000
For fund performance, please check the first article. All information is updated on May 18th, 2011.