Best Performer Moderate Allocation Mutual Funds 2011 Pt 2

This next article will provide the other five top performer moderate allocation balanced mutual funds. If you are interested for the first article, please check my first article here. As discussed before, balanced fund is suitable for buy and hold investor.

Balanced fund may invest in stocks (equities), bonds (fixed incomes), money market, cash, preferred stocks, and convertible bonds. Different funds may have different strategies. Some may even use derivatives or futures to enhance their fund performance. The funds are called moderate allocation funds if the funds have higher stock portion (about 50%-70%).

The following top performer funds are rated based on their year to date fund performance (up to May 17th, 2011). For details about fund performance can be found on my previous article.

The best performer moderate allocation mutual funds are:
  1. JHancock3 Leveraged Companies A
  2. Bruce
  3. PIMCO All Asset A
  4. Transamerica Balanced A
  5. SAAT Defensive Strategy Allocation A
  6. The Montecito
  7. America First Quantitative Strategies A
  8. Intrepid Capital
  9. RiverNorth Core Opportunity (RNCOX)
  10. Columbia Thermostat A (CTFAX)
  11. Arrow DWA Balanced A (DWAFX)
  12. Vanguard Asset Allocation Inv (VAAPX)
  13. DWS Select Alternative Allocation A (SELAX)

Best Performer Moderate Allocation funds

updated on May 17th, 2011

9. RiverNorth Core Opportunity (Ticker: RNCOX)

RiverNorth Core Opportunity Fund investment is to achieve capital appreciation in long-term period and to provide consistent income with prudent investment risk over the long-term. More than 50% of its assets are invested in Underlying Funds. The fund possibly will gain exposure to below investment grade securities, foreign currency transactions debt obligations of foreign governments, commodities and supranational debt. RNCOX may invest directly in the equity and debt securities of U.S. corporate issuers and U.S. government securities. 

RiverNorth Core Opp. fund details
Since December 2008, O’Neil Stephen has been the lead manager of this fund. It has 1.45% annual expense ratio rate. Investor will need to provide $5,000 min initial investment for brokerage account and $1,000 for IRA account. As part of no load fund, it does’t have any sales load fee. 

The fund has returned 16.25% over the past year and 10.09% over the past 3 years. It receives 5-stars rating from Morningstar and currently has 6.65% YTD return. The best 1-year total return so far was 48.91% (in 2009) and the worst one was -27.55% (in 2008). 

There are 51 brokerages offered this RiverNorth fund, such as JP Morgan, LPL SAM Eligible, Schwab Retail, Ameriprise Brokerage, Scottrade NTF, Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc, etc. The asset class allocations are 41% in domestic equity, 18% in fixed income, 17% in cash and cash equivalents, 14% in international equity and 10% in hybrid investments. 

10. Columbia Thermostat A (Ticker: CTFAX)

Columbia Thermostat fund seeks to provide long term capital appreciation. It invests most of the assets (> 95%) among a selected group of stock and bond mutual funds based on the current level of the S&P 500 Stock Index in relation to predetermined ranges set by the investment adviser. Small part of its asset (about 5%) may be invested in cash, high quality short-term paper, and government securities. This fund is also classified as fund of funds (i.e. most asset is invested in other mutual funds).

Columbia Thermostat fund characteristics
The fund inception date was March 2003 and has been managed by Charles P. McQuaid ever since. CTFAX has distributed 0.14% of dividend in June 2010. This fund has 12b1 fee of 0.25% and front-end sales load of 5.75%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500 for brokerage account and $1,000 for IRA account. There is no minimum subsequent investment. This fund also has $140 million total net assets.

The fund’s expense ratio is 1.29% per year. Morningstar give 4 stars rating for this Columbia Thermostat fund. It has 5.80% year-to-date return. The fund has returned 9.23% over the past year and 4.24% over the past five years. The best returns so far was achieved in 2009 with 31.98% while the worst in 2008 with -30.67%.  

This fund can be purchased from 96 brokerages include JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Edward Jones, Scottrade Load, LPL SAM Eligible, Ameriprise Brokerage, etc. The other class tickers of this fund are CTFBX (Class B), CTFDX (Class C) and COTZX (Class Z). 

As of February 2011, the major market sectors of this Columbia fund are Basic Materials, Communication Services, Consumer Cyclical, Consumer Defensive, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Real Estate, Technology and Utilities. CTFAX has a high holdings turnover. As of November 2010, it has 118.0% of annual holdings turnover, while the average for category is 47.73%. 

11. Arrow DWA Balanced A (Ticker: DWAFX)

Arrow DWA Balanced fund details
The investment in Arrow DWA Balanced fund is to provide a proper balance between long-term capital appreciation and capital preservation. This balanced fund will invest in exchange traded funds (ETF). It invests a minimum of 25% up to 65% of assets under normal conditions, in all equity securities, including domestic and international equity securities; in fixed-income securities of any credit quality, and a minimum of 10% up to 40% of net assets, including ETFs that invest in alternative assets. 

This is a new fund which provides investment in ETFs. The portfolio allocation of Arrow DWA Balanced is 26.00% in fixed income, 25.4% in style, 19.0% in alternative, 17.9% in international and 11.7% in sector. 

Michael Jay Moody is the lead  manager since August 2006. To open a brokerage account in this fund, the minimum initial investment is $5,000 with $250 subsequent investment. For IRA account, the initial investment is $2,000 with $250 subsequent investment. The fund applies 0.25% of management fee and 5.75% of sales-load fee. The other class of this fund is C-Shares (Ticker: DWATX). 

The annual expense ratio of this fund is 1.58%, quite high compared to the average for category which is 0.99%. The last dividend distributed in December 2009 was 0.12%. Since its inception, DWAFX has experienced 3 years of positive return (best in 2009 with 17.34%), and one year of negative return in 2008 with -25.57%. The fund has a 5.83% of year-to-date return. It has returned 8.28% over the past one year and 1.01% over the past three years. 

Investor may invest in this fund through 57 brokerages, such as Scottrade Load, JP Morgan, Fidelity Retail Funds Network, Robert W. Baird & Co, Firstrade, Morgan Stanley, etc. 

12. Vanguard Asset Allocation Inv (Ticker: VAAPX)

Known with its Vanguard index fund, Vanguard Asset Allocation fund investment seeks to maximize total return in long-term. The assets may be allocated up to 100% among bonds, common stocks, and money-market instruments. The fund also has one of the lowest fees with an expense ratio rate of 0.27% per year. This Vanguard fund is also part of no load fund (i.e. there is no sales load).

Vanguard Asset Allocation fund details
VAAPX has distributed 1.47% dividend this past year. Last dividend distributed in June 2010 was 0.05%. The minimum initial investment to invest in the brokerage and IRA account of this Vanguard fund is $3,000. There is no management fee and no sales load fee. This fund has returned 17.59 over the past one year and 3.64% over the past decade. The best 1-year return was recorded in 1997 with 27.32% while the worst 1-year return was in 2008 with -36.39%. The fund has 8.14% of year-to-date return. VAAPX has returned 17.59% over the past one year and 3.64% over the past decade. 

This fund can be purchased from 85 brokerages include Vanguard NTF, JP Morgan, Common Wealth Universe, Royal Alliance, Raymond James, EP Fee large, Firstrade, T Rowe Price, EP Fee Small, etc. The best way to invest in Vanguard funds is by opening an account with Vanguard. Investor can select and invest in variety of Vanguard products like index fund, actively managed fund, exchange traded funds, etc.

The top 10 holdings of this fund are Exxon Mobil Corp, Apple Inc, Chevron Corp, General Electric Co, International Business Machines Corp, Microsoft Corp, AT&T Inc, Procter & Gamble Co, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Johnson & Johnson. These ten largest holdings represent 12.8% of total net assets and 18.8% of equities. The top equity sectors include information technology (18.1%), financials (15.4%), energy (13.1%), health care (11.3%), industrials (11.2%), consumer discretionary (10.6%), consumer staples (10.4%), etc. The top bond issuers are treasury / agency bonds (100%). 

13. DWS Select Alternative Allocation A (Ticker: SELAX)

The investment in DWS Select Alternative Allocation objective is to provide capital appreciation by investing in alternative or non-traditional asset categories and investment strategies. The assets are investing in a combination of other DWS funds, certain other securities and derivative instruments, known as fund-of-fund. It may also invest in securities ETF when the desired economic exposure to a specific asset class or investment policy is not available through a DWS fund.
DWS Select Alt All fund characteristics

Since its inception in September 2008, Inna Y. Okounkova has been the lead manager of this DWS fund. This SELAX fund requires a minimum of $1,000 to open a brokerage and a minimum of $500 to open IRA account in this fund. Details about other retirement account can be checked through your account administrator. This fund has sales-load fee of 5.75% and 12b1 fee of 0.25%. The last dividend distributed in December 2009 was 0.21%. It has 0.36% annual expense ratio. 

The other classes of this fund are Class C (Ticker: SELEX), Institutional Class (Ticker: SELIX) and Class S (Ticker: SELSX). These classes may charge fewer fees than class A fund (Ticker: SELAX).

The fund has returned 6.44% over the past year. It has 4.99% of year-to-date return. The fund has returned 23.33% in 2009 and 11.01% in 2010. You will find this fund in 42 brokerages include Schwab Retail, JP Morgan, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade Retail, Bear Stearns, Scottrade Load, etc. 

The portfolio composition of this fund is 57% in real return, 23% in non-traditional, 19% in absolute return and 1% in cash.  

Disclosure: No Position

Note: If you are interested in conservative allocation balanced fund, please part 1 and part 2 articles.


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