Top 25 Balanced Mutual Funds of Sep 2011 for past 3 months

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The following is about the 25 top performing balanced mutual funds September 2011. The top performers include PIMCO Real Income 2029 A, Invesco Balanced-Risk Retire 2050 A, Federated Market Opportunity A, Hussman Strategic Total Return and more.

Volatility for the past 3 month has reminded us (i.e. investor) to remember to diversify our portfolio allocation. One of the easiest ways is to use balanced funds. Balanced funds or hybrid funds invest in equity and bond. Depending on their objective, these balanced mutual funds can allocate their asset accordingly. With European monetary crisis, this fund has relatively outperformed other classes of mutual funds, especially stock funds or equity funds.

For a refresh, there are several balanced funds. They can be classified as: Aggressive allocation balanced funds, conservative allocation balanced funds, moderate allocation balanced funds, world allocation balanced funds, retirement income funds, and target date balanced funds (Target date 2000-2010, target date 2021-2025, etc).

The 25 Top Performer Balanced Mutual Funds September 2011 for the past 3 month are:
Top Performer Balanced Funds 2011
  1. PIMCO Real Income 2029 A (POIAX)
  2. Invesco Balanced Risk Retire 2050 A (TNEAX)
  3. Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation A (ABRZX)
  4. Invesco Balanced-Risk Retire 2030 A (TNAAX)
  5. Invesco Balanced-Risk Retire 2020 A (AFTAX)
  6. Invesco Balanced-Risk Retire 2040 A (TNDAX)
  7. Federated Market Opportunity A (FMAAX)
  8. Hussman Strategic Total Return (HSTRX)
  9. JHFunds2 Retirement 2010 Portfolio 1 (JRTOX)
  10. Invesco Balanced-Risk Retire Now A (IANAX)

25 Top Performer Taxable Bond Mutual Funds 2011

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Bond mutual fund or fixed income fund has enjoyed one of the longest bull markets for the past 30 years. While stock funds have stagnant for the past 10 year, bond funds have outperformed. With market volatility for the past 3months, bond funds have relatively stable and achieve better return. There are two types of bond funds: taxable bond funds and municipal bond funds. The following is the 25 top performing bond funds (3 month performance). I also include the short fund review.

Note: Bond funds include: Government bond, inflation protection bond fund (TIP), general bond, bank loan bond fund, world bond fund, multisector bond fund, emerging market bond fund, municipal bond fund, etc.

The 25 Top Performer bond mutual funds September 2011 for the past 3 month are:
Top Performer Bond Funds 2011
  1. PIMCO Extended Duration Instl (PEDIX)
  2. Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury Index Instl (VEDTX)
  3. ProFunds US Government Plus Inv (GVPIX)
  4. Rydex Govt Long Bond 1.2x Strategy Inv (RYGBX)
  5. Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury (WHOSX)
  6. American Century Zero Coupon 2025 Inv (BTTRX)
  7. Fidelity Spartan L/T Term Bond Index Inv (FLBIX)
  8. Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Inv (VUSTX)
  9. Vanguard Long-Term Government Bond Index Instl (VLGIX)
  10. T. Rowe Price US Treasury Long-Term (PRULX)

Turner Emerging Growth Fund (TMCGX)

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Small cap US stock funds have outperformed large cap US stock funds. This small cap stock fund can be very volatile. One of the best small growth US stock funds is Turner Emerging Growth Investor fund. Details about the fund review can be found below.

Turner Emerging Growth Investor (MUTF: TMCGX)

Turner Emerging Growth Investor
The Turner Emerging Growth Investor investment seeks capital appreciation. This Turner Investment Partners fund invests mainly in equity securities of U.S. companies with small and very small market capitalizations and also in securities of companies that are diversified across economic sectors. Its exposure is generally <5% of assets in any single stock, subject to exceptions for the most heavily weighted securities in the 2000 Growth Index.

This small growth domestic stock fund is on the top list of Forbes 10th best mutual funds. Frank L Sustersic has managed this fund since its inception in February 1998. This fund has expense ratio of 1.40% per yeary. This expense fee is a bit lower compared to the average in the Small Growth category (1.52%). The total net asset of this fund is $595.72 million. This TMCGX fund is under the management of Turner Investment Partners. Currently it is on 24th rank in the small growth category. The CUSIP of this fund is 872524301. Note: Previously, this fund is known as Turner Micro-Cap Growth fund.

Top Performer International Stock Funds of Sep 2011 (3 Month Return)

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International stock funds have been taking a beating for the past 3 months. These equity funds have been underperformed their peer, domestic stock funds. These international stock funds can include European stock funds, diversified emerging markets stock funds, world stock funds, Japan stock funds, and many more.

The 24 Top Performer International Stock mutual funds September 2011 for the past 3 month are:
Top Performing International Stock Funds
  1. The USX China C (HPCCX)
  2. Commonwealth Japan (CNJFX)
  3. GaveKal Platform Company Instl (GAVIX)
  4. API Efficient Frontier Multiple Index A (APIMX)
  5. Prasad Growth (PRGRX)
  6. Nuveen Tradewinds Japan A (NTJAX)
  7. DWS RREEF Global Infrastructure A (TOLLX)
  8. DFA Japanese Small Company I (DFJSX)
  9. Dynamic Infrastructure I (DWGIX)
  10. Henderson Japan Focus A (HFJAX)
  11. Virtus Global Opportunities A (NWWOX)
  12. Morgan Stanley Inst Glbl Franchise I (MSFAX)

Best Performer US Stock Mutual Funds Sep 2011 (3 months)

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The following is the top performer of US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds for the past 3 months. The data is updated on September 23, 2011. Based on the list, you will notice the ten top performer funds have been dominated by utilities stock fund. These utilities stock funds usually have higher dividend yield and lower volatility. I also include the fund review below. More details about top performer funds or best stock fund can be found in my MEPB Financial website.

The 24 Top Performer US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds September 2011 (3 Months period):
Top Performer US Stock Fund 2011
  1. ICON Telecommunications & Utilities S (ICTUX)
  2. Franklin Utilities A (FKUTX)
  3. ProFunds Utilities UltraSector Inv (UTPIX)
  4. Invesco Utilities Investor (FSTUX)
  5. Rydex Utilities Adv (RYAUX)
  6. Direxion HCM Freedom Svc (HCMFX)
  7. Berkshire Focus (BFOCX)
  8. Fidelity Select Utilities Portfolio (FSUTX)
  9. Delaware Pooled Select 20 (DPCEX)
  10. Center Coast MLP Focus A (CCCAX)

American Century Zero Coupon 2015 Inv (BTFTX) Fund

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Bond mutual funds can be attractive to short term investors. One of this bond funds is government bond fund. This type of fund typically is very safe and has investment grade credit rating. These bond funds typically invest majority of assets in US Treasuries. These funds can be short term, intermediate term, and long term bonds. One of these government bond funds are described below.

Note: Long term bond fund which has longer duration years may be susceptible to interest rate hikes.

American Century Zero Coupon 2015 Inv (MUTF: BTFTX)

The American Century Zero Coupon fund’s objective is to seek the highest return consistent with investment in U.S. Treasury securities. This American Century fund invests >80% of assets in zero-coupon U.S. Treasury securities. This bond fund may invest <20% of assets in AAA-rated zero-coupon U.S. government agency securities. Zero-coupon securities make no periodic interest or principal payments. The fund is managed to mature in the year 2015 and will be liquidated near the end of its target maturity year.

American Century Zero Coupon 2015
BTFTX Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: September 2, 1986
  • Ticker Symbol: BTFTX
  • CUSIP: 024935405
  • Beta (3yr): 1.55
  • Rank in category (YTD): 94
  • Category: Long Government
  • Yield: 3.35%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 18 years
  • Number of Years Down: 6 years
  • Net Assets: $364.49 million
Updated on 9/25/2011

Royce European Smaller Companies Service RISCX Fund

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As part of international companies, European companies are another important part of global economy. One of the ways to invest in these companies is using mutual funds. For investor, they should allocate about 10% - 35% of their investment asset in these funds. One of this best international stock is described below. The fund review include Royce European Smaller Companies Service fund yield, category, sales load, investment fund performance, etc.

Royce European Smaller Companies Service (RISCX)

RISCX fund
The Royce European Smaller Companies Service fund objective is to provide long-term growth of capital. This Royce fund generally invests >80% of net assets in the equity securities of companies with market capitalizations of <$5 billion. This European stock fund invests <35% of the net assets in the securities of companies domiciled in "developing countries."

RISCX Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: December 29, 2006
  • Ticker Symbol: RISCX
  • CUSIP: 780905311
  • Beta (3yr): 1.07
  • Rank in category (YTD): 69
  • Category: Europe Stock
  • Distribution Rate: 0.95%
  • Net Assets: $ 23.92 million
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.69%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 3 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
Updated on 9/23/2011

Auxier Focus Fund (AUXFX) Investor Class

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Domestic stock mutual fund is typically the main investment fund for every investor. Rule of thumb is to have about 20%-50% of total assets in this domestic stock fund. This fund can be used as asset portfolio diversification. One of this best fund review is Auxier Focus fund.

Auxier Focus Investor Class (MUTF: AUXFX)

The Auxier Focus Investor Class fund’s objective is to provide long-term capital appreciation. This Auxier fund invests mostly in the common stock of medium to large U.S. companies. The invested companies usually have >$1 billion market capitalization. It may invest <25% of net assets in lower-rated securities or unrated. This large value stock fund also may invest <25% of net assets in fixed-income securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, or by the Canadian government and their governmental agencies. It may invest <20% of net assets in foreign securities such as American Depositary Receipts (ADR).

AUXFX Fund Details
Auxier Focus fund
Auxier Focus fund
  • Fund Inception Date: July 9, 1999
  • Ticker Symbol: AUXFX
  • CUSIP: 349903179
  • Beta (3yr): 0.69
  • Rank in category (YTD): 3
  • Category: Large Value
  • Yield: 1.78%
  • Net Assets: $ 167.14 million
  • Sales Load: 0.0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.30%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 9 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
Updated on 9/18/2011

T. Rowe Price Tax-Free High Yield Fund (PRFHX)

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Muni bond funds are very popular for investor in taxable brokerage account. The yield of this bond fund is not subjected to the federal tax rate. This opportunity can provide additional incentive for investor as well as opportunity to diversify their investment asset portfolio. One of this best municipal bond fund is described below. More on best mutual fund, please check my MEPB Financial website.

T. Rowe Price Tax-Free High-Yield (MUTF: PRFHX)

The T. Rowe Price Tax-Free High-Yield fund’s objective is to provide a high level of current income exempt from federal income tax. This TRP fund invests mostly in long-term municipal securities and its weighted average maturity is expected to normally >10 years. This bond fund invests majority portion of its assets in below investment-grade (or junk / high yield) municipal bonds. This T Rowe Price bond fund may buy bonds in default as long as they are <10% of total assets. The fund may also consist <20% of the fund’s income could be derived from securities subject to the alternative minimum tax (or AMT). The fund may invest a significant portion of its assets in sectors with special risks, such as hospitals, electric utility, or private activity bonds.

PRFHX Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: March 1, 1985
  • Ticker Symbol: PRFHX
  • CUSIP: 741486104
  • Beta (3yr): 1.37
  • Rank in category (YTD): 47
  • Category: High Yield Muni
  • Distribution: 5.13%
  • Net Assets: $ 1.73 billion
  • Sales Load: 0.0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.68%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 21 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Average Maturity: 19.55 years
  • Average Duration: 7.64 years
Updated on 9/18/2011

Best Municipal Bond Mutual Funds September 2011

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This next article is about Top 10 Best Municipal Bond Mutual Funds for the past 3 years. The funds include Wells Fargo Advantage Core Builder, Ivy Municipal High Income I, Nuveen Tax-Free I, Virtus Tax-Exempt Bond I, etc. I also include the individual mutual fund review.

On my previous article, I have provided the Top Performing Muni Bond Mutual Funds. As discussed before, municipal bond funds provide dividend yield exempt from the federal tax rate. These muni bond funds can provide instant diversification to variety of municipal bonds in one fund. In this list, you will find such as national muni bond fund, single state muni bond fund, California muni bond fund, etc. Some of these funds may be categorized as long term muni bond, intermediate term muni bond, or short term muni bond.
Note: More top mutual funds on my MEPB Financial website

Selection criteria

The best Muni Bond fund’s selection criteria are:
  • Consistent performance for the past 3 years and over the long term period.
  • The fund is recognized by Morningstar as one of the best funds with 4 stars or 5 stars rating.
  • It has one of the top fund’s managers in this category.

Top Rated Funds

Best municipal bond mutual funds for 2013 & 2014 are:
  1. Bernstein Diversified Municipal fund (SNDPX)
  2. USAA Tax Exempt Intermediate-Term fund (USATX)
  3. Wells Fargo Advantage Short Term Municipal Bond fund (STSMX)
  4. Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt fund (VWAHX)
  5. T. Rowe Price Summit Municipal Income fund (PRINX)
  6. Wells Fargo Advantage Municipal Bond fund (SXFIX)
  7. Wells Fargo Advantage Intermediate Tax/AMT-Free fund (SIMBX)
  8. SEI Tax-Exempt Tax-Advantaged Income fund (SEATX)
  9. GuideMark Tax-Exempt Fixed Income fund (GMTEX)
  10. BNY Mellon Municipal Opportunities fund (MOTIX)
  11. American Funds Tax-Exempt Bond fund (AFTEX)
  12. Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt fund (VWITX)
updated on 3/31/2013

Virtus International Real Estate Securities A PXRAX Fund

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Real Estate investment is important part of asset diversification. One of the easiest way to invest in Real Estate is investing in REIT Mutual Fund. I provide Virtus International Real Estate Securities fund review. This global real estate fund has performed consistently for the past 3 years. It is among the top international real estate fund. If you are interested in other top fund, please check my MEPB Financial website.

Virtus International Real Estate Securities A (MUTF: PXRAX)

The Virtus International Real Estate Securities fund investment objective is to achieve long-term capital appreciation; income is a secondary consideration. This Virtus fund invests >80% of assets in equity securities issued by non-U.S companies of any capitalization that are engaged in the real estate industry, including common stock, preferred stock and other equity securities. These real estate companies include real estate investment trusts (REITs), and similar REIT-like entities. It invests <20% of assets in U.S. REIT securities. This fund is considered a non-diversified fund.

PXRAX Fund Details
Virtus International Real Estate Secs
  • Fund Inception Date: October 1, 2007
  • Ticker Symbol: PXRAX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 92828R750
  • Beta (3yr): 1.04
  • Rank in category (YTD): 5
  • Category: Global Real Estate
  • Dividend Yield: 10.68%
  • Net Assets: $ 39.72 million
  • Sales Load: 5.75%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.50%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 2 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
Updated on 9/7/2011

Ivy Municipal High Income A (IYIAX) Fund

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Bond funds or fixed income funds are another less volatile investment vehicle for investor to diversify its investment portfolio. There are two main fixed income mutual funds: taxable bond funds and non taxable bond funds (Municipal Bond funds). This article will provide one of the top municipal bond mutual funds. This muni bond fund can provide regular dividend or income for investor. It is also an efficient way for high income investor to diversify its portfolio.

Ivy Municipal High Income A (MUTF: IYIAX)

The Ivy Municipal High Income fund’s objective is to seek a high level of current income that is exempt from federal income tax. This Muni bond fund invests most of net assets (>80%) in a diversified portfolio of tax-exempt municipal bonds. It invests in bonds rated in the lower tier of investment grade or lower, including bonds rated below investment grade, or junk bonds. The fund typically invests in municipal bonds with remaining maturities of 10 to 30 years. It also invests in investment grade municipal bonds at times when yield spreads are narrow and the higher yields do not justify the increased risk.

IYIAX Fund Details
Ivy Municipal High Income fund details
Ivy Municipal High Income fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: May 18, 2009
  • Ticker Symbol: IYIAX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 466001849
  • Beta (3yr): 1.24
  • Rank in category (YTD): 45
  • Category: High Yield Muni
  • Distribution Rate: 4.69%
  • Net Assets: $ 498.32 million
  • Sales Load: 4.25%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.94%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 1 year
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Average Maturity: 22.08 years
  • Average Duration: 10.17 years
Updated on 9/16/2011

TD Bank USA Online Banking Review

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One of the leading banks in Northeast and Southeast America is TD Bank. TD Bank has expanded its business. As part of TD Bank Financial Group, TD Bank USA offers online banking and variety banking services review. More details on online banking is described below.

Intro

TD Bank is American bank subsidiary division of TD Bank Financial Group (NYSE: TD, TSX:TD, TYO: 8640) which provides financial services to US personal and commercial banking. As the 10 largest banks in US, TD Bank provides a full range of financial products such as banking, insurance, brokerage, and investment banking. It has >1,250 convenient local branches from Maine to Florida. TD Bank also has more than 2,700 ATM machines.


TD Bank was formed with merger of TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank in 2008. The current TD Bank USA CEO is Bharat B. Masrani. The current TD Bank (USA) headquarters are located at Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Portland, MaineUSA. TD Bank tag line is “America's Most Convenient Bank.”

Note: If you are interesting in TDBFG Canadian subsidiary, please check my article on hubpages

Wells Fargo Advantage Premier Large Company Growth A EKJAX Fund

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Having several domestic stock mutual funds in your investment account may be the right choice for portfolio diversification. Depending on your risk tolerance and market volatility, you should invest about 20% - 50% of your total asset portfolio in these domestic stock funds especially large cap domestic stock funds. One of this best domestic fund is listed below. For more top rated fund review, please check MEPB Financial.

Wells Fargo Advantage Premier Large Company Growth A (MUTF: EKJAX)

The Wells Fargo Advantage Premier Large Company Growth fund’s objective is to provide long-term capital growth. This Wells Fargo Advantage fund invests >80% of net assets in equity securities of large-capitalization companies and <20% of the total assets in equity securities of foreign issuers, including ADRs. It invests principally in equity securities of large-capitalization companies similar to companies in Russell 1000 Index. This Large Growth Domestic Stock fund may use futures, options or swap agreements, derivatives, to manage risk or to enhance return. Details of the fund review is below.

EKJAX Fund Details
Wells Fargo Advantage Premier Large  Company Growth
  • Fund Inception Date: January 20, 1998
  • Ticker Symbol: EKJAX
  • CUSIP: 94984B496
  • Beta (3yr): 0.91
  • Rank in category (YTD): 17
  • Category: Large Growth
  • Distribution: 0.05%
  • Net Assets: $ 830.12 million
  • Sales Load: 5.75%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.08%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 8 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
Updated on 9/17/2011

Managers Short Duration Government Fund (MGSDX)

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As part of fixed income fund or taxable bond fund, ultra-short bond fund can be used for any short term investment or asset diversification. It can also use to hedge against rising interest rate environment. One of this best rated ultrashort taxable bond fund is Managers Short Duration Government. More Best funds are available on MEPB Financial.

Managers Short Duration Government (MUTF: MGSDX)

According the fund’s prospectus, the Managers Short Duration Government fund seeks current income consistent with low volatility of net asset value (NAV). This Managers fund invests most of net assets (>80%) in US Government bonds (debt securities). It may use synthetic instruments or derivatives similar to the bonds or debt securities. It also may employs hedging techniques, such as interest rate futures, options, caps, floors, and swaps, to reduce the interest rate risk of its fixed income securities. This Ultrashort Bond fund may use leverage.

MGSDX Fund Details
Managers Short Duration Government fund
  • Fund Inception Date: March 31, 1992
  • Ticker Symbol: MGSDX
  • CUSIP: 561717794
  • Beta (3yr): -0.08
  • Rank in category (YTD): 44
  • Category: Ultrashort Bond
  • Distribution Rate: 1.06%
  • Net Assets: $ 341.79 million
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.81%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 17 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
  • Effective Duration: 0.3 years
Updated on 9/14/2011

Templeton China World Fund (TCWAX)

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As one of emerging markets, China can provide an opportunity for investor to invest. To invest in Chinese companies, investor can invest through mutual funds. One of the best China Region stock fund is Templeton China World fund. The fund review is described below.

Templeton China World A (MUTF: TCWAX)

The Templeton China World fund seeks long-term capital appreciation. The fund typically invests most of net assets (>80%) in securities of China companies. This Franklin Templeton fund may also invest <20% of net assets in securities that do not qualify as China company securities, but whose issuers, in the judgment of the investment manager, are expected to benefit from developments in the economy of China. This Templeton fund is non-diversified.

TCWAX Fund Details
Templeton China World fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: September 8, 1993
  • Ticker Symbol: TCWAX
  • CUSIP: 88018X201
  • Beta (3yr): 0.86
  • Rank in category (YTD): 5
  • Category: China Region
  • Distribution: 0.86%
  • Net Assets: $ 1.21 billion
  • Sales Load: 5.75%
  • Expense Ratio: 2.02%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 11 years
  • Number of Years Down: 6 years
Updated on 9/14/2011

Top 10 Best Taxable Bond Mutual Funds of September 2011

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The following article is about Top 10 best taxable bond mutual funds 2011 for the past 3 years. The top funds include Old Mutual Dwight High Yield, Delaware Extended Duration Bond A, TCW Emerging Markets Income, Direxion Monthly 10 year Note Bull 2x, PIMCO Long Duration Total Return I, etc. The list is recently updated on MEPB Financial.

Introduction

There are two types of bond mutual funds: taxable bond funds and non taxable bond funds. The taxable bond funds provide regular income to investor which is taxable under federal tax rates and state tax rates. Some states may not tax this type of bonds. The non-taxable bond funds are also known as Municipal bond mutual funds or muni bond funds. These muni bond funds provide an income which is exempt from federal tax.

There are variety of taxable bond funds include mortgage backed bond funds, hybrid bond funds, multi sector bond funds, asset backed bond funds, bank loan bond funds, corporate bond funds, government bond funds or treasury bond funds, high yield bond funds or non-investment grade bond funds, foreign bond funds, emerging markets bond funds, and many more.

There are various reasons to invest in taxable bond funds such as:
  • These mutual funds provide regular income either monthly or quarterly
  • These funds don’t correlate closely to stock markets. Bonds may outperform stocks.
  • They can provide instant asset portfolio diversification
  • Bond funds can be used to weather volatile market environment especially during economic crisis, depression era, recession environment, etc.
Selection criteria

The fund’s selection criteria are:
  • The fund has performed consistently for the past 3 years and long term.
  • The fund is acknowledged by Morningstar as one of the best funds with 4 stars or 5 stars rating
  • It has one of the top fund’s managers in this category
Top 10 Funds

Top 10 Best taxable bond mutual funds of September 2011 are:
Top 10 Best Taxable Bond Mutual Funds of September 2011
Top 10 Best Taxable Bond Mutual Funds 2011
  1. Old Mutual Dwight High Yield Instl
  2. Delaware Extended Duration Bond A
  3. TCW Emerging Markets Income I
  4. Direxion Mthly 10 Year Note Bull 2X
  5. PIMCO Long Duration Total Return Instl
  6. PIMCO Long-Term US Government Instl
  7. GuideStone Funds Extended-Dur Bond GS2
  8. MainStay High Yield Opportunities A
  9. Dreyfus International Bond A
  10. Templeton Global Bond A
updated on 9/14/2011

Westcore International Small-Cap Fund (WTIFX)

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There are variety of international stock mutual funds. One of these funds is Small/ Mid cap International stock fund. The following is the review of Wescore International Small Cap Fund. It is considered as one of the best small / mid growth international equity fund.

Westcore International Small Cap Fund (MUTF: WTIFX)

The Westcore International Small-Cap fund’s objective is to seek long-term capital growth. The fund invests mainly in the under value common stock of approximately 35 to 60 foreign small-cap companies per the fund management’s assessment. It invests majority of net assets (>80%) in foreign small-cap companies in developed countries which are companies with <$3.5 billion market capitalizations. This Westcore fund may also invest in emerging markets and/or in U.S.-based companies.

Note: This Westcore International Small-Cap Fund is previously known as Westcore International Frontier

WTIFX Fund Details
Westcore International Small Cap Fund
  • Fund Inception Date: December 15, 1999
  • Ticker Symbol: WTIFX
  • CUSIP: 957904550
  • Beta (3yr): 0.95
  • Rank in category (YTD): 4
  • Category: Foreign Small/ Mid Growth
  • Distribution Rate: 0.49%
  • Net Assets: $ 138.04 million
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.50%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 7 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
Updated on 9/14/2011

Payden GNMA Fund (PYGNX)

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There are two type of fixed income mutual funds: taxable bond and municipal bond. The following article will present one of the best taxable bond funds, Payden GNMA fund. Details fund's review can be found below.

Payden GNMA Fund (MUTF: PYGNX)

The Payden GNMA Fund's objective is to provide a high level of total return that is consistent with preservation of capital. The fund generally invests most of total assets (>80%) in government National Mortgage Association mortgage-backed securities. This GNMA bonds are debt securities representing part ownership in a pool of mortgage loans backed by the U.S. government. This Payden GNMA fund invests in debt securities of any maturity, and there is no limit on the fund's maximum average portfolio maturity. This bond fund is considered as a non-diversified investment fund.

PYGNX Fund Details
Payden GNMA fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: August 27, 1999
  • Ticker Symbol: PYGNX
  • CUSIP: 704329473
  • Beta (3yr): 0.61
  • Rank in category (YTD): 17
  • Category: Intermediate Government
  • Distribution rate: 4.37%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 11 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 year
  • Net Assets: $705.6 million
  • Average Duration: 4.8 years
  • Average Maturity: 7.7 years
Updated on 9/13/2011

Sextant International Fund (SSIFX)

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The following article will review one of the Best International Equity Mutual Funds. Sextant International has performed consistently for the past decade. This Saturna fund invests mainly in International companies.

Sextant International (MUTF: SSIFX)

The Sextant International fund objective is to provide long-term capital growth. This investment fund invests >65% of assets in companies with their headquarters and major assets and earnings outside the U.S. It diversifies its investments across industries, companies, and countries. This Sextant International fund typically invests in larger established companies, but it may invest in any size of companies (mid cap, small cap, and micro-cap).

SSFIX Fund Details
Sextant International fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: September 28, 1995
  • Ticker Symbol: SSIFX
  • CUSIP: 804096501
  • Beta (3yr): 0.54
  • Rank in category (YTD): 82
  • Category: Foreign Large Blend
  • Yield: 0.37%
  • Net Assets: $ 184.24 million
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.03%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 11 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years

Updated on 9/9/2011

JHFunds2 Capital Appreciation 1 (JICPX) Fund

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Rated as one of the best US Stock mutual funds, JHFunds 2 Capital Appreciation 1 fund has outperformed its peers. This John Hancock fund can be used as one of the tools for asset diversification. Details about the fund review is below.

JHFunds2 Capital Appreciation 1 (MUTF: JICPX)

As the top large growth fund, this JHFunds2 Capital Appreciation fund is seeking long-term growth of capital. The fund invests most of total assets (>65%) in above average growth prospect companies' equity with more than $1 billion in market capitalization. It may minority of total asset (<20%) in foreign equity securities. The fund may invest in U.S. government bond issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or by its agency. It may invest in mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. governmental entities. This John Hancock II fund may invest in investment grade fixed incomes or bonds.

JICPX Fund Details
JHFunds2 Capital App 1 fund
  • Fund Inception Date: October 14, 2005
  • Ticker Symbol: JICPX
  • CUSIP: 47803V879
  • Beta (3yr): 0.90
  • Rank in category (YTD): 7
  • Category: Large Growth
  • Yield: 0.08%
  • Net Assets: $ 2.06 billion
  • Sales Load: 0.0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.79%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 4 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year

Updated on 9/9/2011

Frost Kempner Treasury and Income Institutional FIKTX Fund

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The following article is about Frost Kempner Treasury and Income I fund. This fund is rated as one of the best inflation protected bond mutual fund. Details about the fund reviews can be found below.

Frost Kempner Treasury and Income Institutional (FIKTX)

The Frost Kempner Treasury and Income fund objective is to provide current income consistent with the capital preservation. The fund typically invests majority of net assets (>80%) in full faith and credit U.S. Treasury obligations. This Frost fund's investments include Treasury bonds, Treasury notes, Treasury Inflated Protection Securities, and short-term U.S. government money market funds.

FIKTX Fund Details
Frost Kempner Treasury and Income
  • Fund Inception Date: April 25, 2008
  • Ticker Symbol: FIKTX
  • CUSIP: 00766Y778
  • Beta (3yr): 1.06
  • Rank in category (YTD): 86
  • Category: Inflation-Protected Bond
  • Distribution Rate: 2.77%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 2 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Total Net Assets: $30.11 million 
  • Effective duration: 10.07 years
  • Average Maturity: 11.92 years
Updated on 9/10/2011

Matthews Asia Pacific Investor Fund (MPACX)

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Investing in Asia Pacific countries can be done through mutual fund. Mutual Fund is ideal for instant asset diversification. One of the best rated diversified Pacific/ Asia International stock funds is Matthew Asia Pacific Investor fund. Details about the fund's review is as follow.

Matthews Asia Pacific Investor (MUTF: MPACX)

The Matthews Asia Pacific Investor investment seeks long-term capital appreciation. The fund typically invests majority of net assets (>80%) in the common and preferred stocks of Asia pacific region companies. This Matthews fund may also invest in the convertible securities with any duration or quality of Asia Pacific companies.

MPACX Fund Details
Matthews Asia Pacific Investor
Matthews Asia Pacific Investor
  • Fund Inception Date: October 31, 2002
  • Ticker Symbol: MPACX (Investor Class)
  • CUSIP: 577130867
  • Beta (3yr): 0.90
  • Rank in category (YTD): 5
  • Category: Diversified Pacific/ Asia
  • Distribution Rate: 0.85%
  • Net Assets: $ 351.32 million
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.19%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 6 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
Updated on 9/8/2011

Top 10 Best Rated International Stock Mutual Funds Sep 2011

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Investment in International Stock mutual funds is essential. The following Top 10 Best International stock mutual funds of 2011 include Wasatch Emerging Markets Small Cap, Invesco Asia Pacific Growth A, DFA Emerging Markets Small Cap I, Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia A, T Rowe Price New Asia, etc. More best rated articles on MEPB Financial.

Introduction

Investing in international stock or global stock funds is not for everyone; however the investment may yield higher return for investors. There are various international stock funds. These funds can be classified as foreign large value, foreign large blend, foreign large growth, foreign small/mid value, foreign small/mid cap growth, Japan stock, Europe stock, diversified emerging markets, Latin America stock, global real estate, World stock, China region, diversified Pacific/Asia, etc.

There are several reasons to invest in international stock funds such as:
  • These funds can enhance your asset portfolio return.
  • The funds can provide instant asset diversification. These international stock funds are also experience different economic cycles than US stock funds. This means there is less correlation between US market and international market.
  • It provide world of opportunity for investor hence the past 40 years the world has expanded exponentially. Many of largest and best run companies are based on international region such as HSBC, Nestle, Siemen, BP, etc.
Note: International stock funds may be riskier and more volatile than US domestic stock funds. Please check the fund’s prospectus for investment risks and details.

The fund’s selection criteria are:
  • The fund has performed consistently for the past 3 years and long term.
  • The fund is acknowledged by Morningstar as one of the best funds with 4 stars or 5 stars rating
  • It has one of the top fund’s managers in this category
Top International Stock Funds 
Top 10 best international stock funds of September 2011 are:
  1. Wasatch Emerging Markets Small Cap (WAEMX)
  2. Invesco Asia Pacific Growth A (ASIAX)
  3. DFA Emerging Markets Small Cap I (DEMSX)
  4. Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia A (FEAAX)
  5. T. Rowe Price New Asia (PRASX)
  6. Matthews Pacific Tiger Investor (MAPTX)
  7. Wasatch International Opportunities (WAIOX)
  8. GMO Taiwan III (GMOTX)
  9. Matthews Asia Dividend Investor (MAPIX)
  10. Aberdeen Emerging Markets Instl Fd Instl (ABEMX)

Weitz Short-Intermediate Income Fund (WEFIX)

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The following article will review one of the top taxable bond mutual funds. Weitz Short Intermediate Income fund has outperformed its peers. Over the long term period, this fund had only 1 down year (up until 2010).

Weitz Short-Intermediate Income (MUTF: WEFIX)

The Weitz Short Intermediate Income fund objective is to provide high current income consistent with the capital preservation. This Weitz fund generally invests majority of assets (>80%) in fixed-income securities or bonds. These bonds include U.S. government and agency securities bonds, corporate debt securities, and mortgage-backed securities. It may invest some of total assets (<15%) in non-investment grade securities (junk bonds) or non-rated bonds.

WEFIX Fund Details
Weitz Short-Intermediate Income Fund (WEFIX)
Weitz Short-Intermediate Income fund
  • Fund Inception Date: December 23, 1988
  • Ticker Symbol: WEFIX (Institutional Class)
  • CUSIP: 94904P302
  • Beta (3yr): 0.50
  • Rank in category (YTD): 28
  • Category: Short-Term Bond
  • Distribution Rate: 2.41%
  • Net Assets: $ 1.31 billion
  • Sales Load: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.64%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 21 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
  • Average Maturity: 3.2 years
  • Average Duration: 2.1 years
  • Average Coupon: 4.0%
Updated on 9/5/2011


Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund (VTINX)

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This article will provide fund review of Vanguard Target Retirement Income. This low cost Vanguard fund is among the best retirement income mutual funds. I'll provide the details such as dividend yield, top 10 holdings, total assets, and more. Details about this fund can be found below.

Vanguard Target Retirement Income (MUTF: VTINX)

The Vanguard Target Retirement Income fund is seeking current income and some capital appreciation. This Vanguard fund invests in other Vanguard mutual funds according to an asset allocation strategy designed for investors currently in retirement.

Its expected asset allocation among the underlying funds is as follows: Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund (45%); Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (21%); Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (20%); Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (9%); and Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (5%). More details about the fund asset allocations can be found in the fund’s prospectus. Majority of assets are invested in fixed income funds or bond funds, and the rests are invested in stock funds or equity funds.

VTINX Fund Details

Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund (VTINX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement Income
  • Fund Inception Date: October 27, 2003
  • Ticker Symbol: VTINX
  • CUSIP: 92202E102
  • Beta (3yr): 0.58
  • Rank in category (YTD): 26
  • Category: Retirement Income
  • Dividend Yield: 2.32%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Expense Ratio: 0.0%
  • Net Assets: $4.64 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 6 years
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 12.0%
Updated on 9/5/2011

Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia Fund (FEAAX)

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Emerging Markets (EM) have become the center piece for investors. Finding the right Emerging Markets Stock Fund is essential. One of the best rated Emerging Markets funds is Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia Fund. I'l'l provide the fund's review in details.

Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia Fund (MUTF: FEAAX)

The Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia Fund objective is to seek long-term capital appreciation. This Fidelity equity fund typically invests >80% of assets in securities of Asian emerging market issuers and companies with emerging markets connection. It invests mainly in common stocks. The fund’s manager will analyze each issuer's financial condition and industry position, as well as market and economic conditions to select investments.

FEAAX Fund Details
Fidelity Advisor Emerging Asia Fund (FEAAX)
FEAAX fund details
  • Fund Inception Date: March 25, 1994
  • Ticker Symbol: FEAAX
  • CUSIP: 315920413
  • Beta (3yr): 0.97
  • Rank in category (YTD): 30
  • Category: Pacific/ Asia ex-Japan Stock
  • Distribution Rate: 0.58%
  • Net Assets: $ 471.23 million
  • Sales Load: 5.75%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.40%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 9 years
  • Number of Years Down: 7 years
Updated on 9/3/2011

Calvert Long Term Income A (CLDAX) Fund

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The following fund has beat any odd with no down years up till 2010. Calvert Long Term Income fund is rated as one of the best taxable bond fund. It is also managed by Gregory Habeeb. The fund's review and details are listed below.

Calvert Long Term Income A (MUTF: CLDAX)

The Calvert Long Term Income investment fund seeks to maximize income, to the extent consistent with preservation of capital. It invests through investments in longer-dated securities. The fund usually invests > 65% of net assets in U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade debt securities. The debt obligations consist of U.S. corporations and US government bonds. This Calvert fund may invest in securities that represent interest in pools of mortgage loans or other assets assembled for sale to investors by various U.S. governmental agencies, and private issuers.

CLDAX Fund Details
Calvert Long Term Income fund
  • Fund Inception Date: December 31, 2004
  • Ticker Symbol: CLDAX (Class A)
  • CUSIP: 131582710
  • Beta (3yr): 1.19
  • Rank in category (YTD): 83
  • Category: Long-Term Bond
  • Distribution rate: 3.24%
  • Net Assets: $ 150.52 million
  • Sales Load: 3.75%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.25%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Number of Years Up: 6 years
  • Number of Years Down: 0 years
  • Average Maturity: 12.86 years
  • Effective Duration: 5.24 years
Updated on 9/1/2011

Prudential Financial Services Fund (PFSAX)

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If you a value investor, you should consider financial sector stocks or equities. These financials sector provide good value with reasonable dividend yield. One of this top rated sector fund is described below.

Prudential Financial Services (MUTF: PFSAX)

The Prudential Financial Services fund objective is to provide long-term capital appreciation. This Prudential Investments fund invests most of investable assets (>80%) in equity and equity-related securities of companies within a specific group of financials industries. It will invest in companies which operate in the financial services sector.

The fund invests in securities of issuers among a number of different countries throughout the world, one of which may be the United States. It is considered as non-diversified sector equity fund.

Prudential Financial Services
PFSAX Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: June 30, 1999
  • Ticker Symbol: PFSAX
  • CUSIP: 74441P106
  • Beta (3yr): 1.18
  • Rank in category (YTD): 12
  • Category: Financial
  • Distribution: 0.11%
  • Capital Gains: N/A
  • Expense Ratio: 1.44%  
  • Net Assets: $234.47 million
  • Number of Years Up: 7 years
  • Number of Years Down: 4 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 68.0%
Updated on August 14th, 2011

Top 10 Best US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds 2011

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Investing in US economy can be done through mutual fund. Majority of investor's asset portfolios are invested in US Domestic Stock mutual funds. The following Top 10 Domestic Stock Mutual Funds of 2011 are Oceanstone fund, WorldCommodity, Delaware Healthcare A, Fidelity Select Retailing, Yacktman Focused, and more. Details can be found below.

Introduction

Investing in US companies can be done through stocks, mutual funds, closed end funds (CEF), and exchange traded funds (ETF). This article will focus on mutual fund investment. Investing in US Domestic stock fund should be the primary asset investment. The rule of thumb is having about 20% to 50% of assets in this U.S. domestic equity funds. The percentage of diversification will depend on how aggressive or conservative the investors are. For instance, aggressive investor with 100% asset in stock should have about 50% of assets in Domestic Stocks and 50% of assets in International Stocks including Emerging Markets. More top fund's review below. Reasons to invest in a domestic stock fund are:
  • The fund can provide asset diversification for investor. Diversification is important in investing world. It also provides a low cost opportunity to invest in variety of US companies.
  • Investor has an opportunity to invest in the US most successful companies.
  • Over the long term horizon, stocks have provided higher long term returns in term of total return, including dividend and capital appreciation.
  • The stock fund can be used as a protection tool against inflation
The fund’s selection criteria are:
  • The fund has performed consistently for the past 3 years and long term.
  • The fund is recognized by Morningstar as one of the best fund with 4 stars and 5 stars rating
  • It includes variety categories such as large value, large blend, large growth, mid cap value, mid cap blend, small growth, natural resources, financial, health, real estate, equity energy, industrials, etc.
Note: Some of these funds may have smaller assets than other funds. These smaller asset funds may be more volatile than other funds. Details about the fund assets can be found below. Some funds can be classified as non-diversified funds. If you are interested in Top Rated funds, you can check my articles in my MEPB Financial website.

Top 10 Best US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds September 2011 are:
    Top 10 Best US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds 2011
  1. Oceanstone Fund (OSFDX)
  2. WorldCommodity (WCOMX)
  3. Reynolds Blue Chip Growth (RBCGX)
  4. Delaware Healthcare A (DLHAX)
  5. Fidelity Select Retailing (FSRPX)
  6. Yacktman Focused (YAFFX)
  7. Firsthand Technology Opportunities (TEFQX)
  8. Intrepid Small Cap (ICMAX)
  9. Invesco Small Companies A (ATIAX)
  10. Yacktman (YACKX)
updated on 9/1/2011

Oceanstone Fund (MUTF: OSFDX)

As the top rated domestic stock fund, this Oceanstone Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation. The fund invests only in undervalue common stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and NASDAQ (both Global and Capital Markets), including American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of foreign issuers.

This Oceanstone fund invests in any market capitalizations include small, medium, and large capitalization stocks. It also may engage in active and frequent trading of its portfolio securities. The fund is non-diversified.

Top 10 Best Taxable Bond Funds September 2011

James J. Wang has managed this small value fund since its inception in November 2006. He is the president, director and shareholder of the Oceanstone Capital Management Inc. The annual expense ratio of this OSFDX is 1.80%. There is no management fee and no sales load. The fund total net assets are $16 million. This Oceanstone Fund has 5-stars rating from Morningstar. It currently has -2.41% YTD return. Since its inception in 2006, the yearly performance of this fund is as below:
  • Year 2007: 24.83%
  • Year 2008: -9.96%
  • Year 2009: 264.38% (best return)
  • Year 2010: 30.55%
Based on the load adjusted return, this fund has returned 25.80% and 66.26% over the past three years. If you are interested in this best small value domestic stock fund, you can start investing in the brokerage account with $2,000 min balance. For subsequent investment, you can invest with $100 or more. Details about retirement accounts (IRA or 401k), please check with your account administrator.

The top holdings as of March 2011 of this OSFDX fund are Huntington Treasury Money Market IV, Archer Daniels Midland Co, Arrow Electronics Inc, Amerigroup Corporation and Dell, Inc. These top five holdings represent 62.59% of the total portfolio. The top sectors are Consumer Cyclical, Technology, Health Care, Energy and Financial Services.

World Commodity fund (Ticker: WCOMX)

As Natural Resources stock fund, this WorldCommodity fund investment seeks capital appreciation. The fund typically invests majority of total net assets (>80%) in equity securities issued by commodity-related companies, both domestic and foreign. This fund will invest in any market value (or market capitalization). It may also invest in derivative both domestic and foreign. It is a non-diversified fund.

This World Commodity Fund was introduced to public in October 27, 2006 and James Llewellyn has managed the fund ever since. This fund shares a small dividend of 0.62%. It also has an expense ratio of 1.61% per year. This figure is slightly higher than the average in the Natural Resources category (1.51%).

Investor will need a minimum of $3,000 for investing in either brokerage or IRA account of this fund. There is no management fee and no sales load fee. The minimum subsequent investment needed for both accounts is $100. This fund can be purchased from a limited list of 8 brokerages. They are NPB Financial Group, E Trade Financial, Pershing FundCenter, Scottrade NTF and Matrix Financial Solutions.

This WCOMX fund has 3 years of positive return since its inception, with the best 1-year total return in year 2009 with 38.07%. The only year with the negative return was in 2008 with -36.10%. It has 9.39% YTD return. This fund has returned 58.46% over the past year, and 18.19% over the past three years.

The top holdings of this sector stock fund are Western Refining Inc (15.96%), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (11.11%), Birchcliff Energy Ltd (9.44%), WPG Resources Ltd (6.71%), CF Industries Holdings, Inc (4.35%), St Andrew Goldfields Ltd (3.91%), Mosaic Co (3.71%), Cequence Energy Ltd (3.60%), New Gold Inc Warrants-A (3.29%) and New Gold Inc Warrants –B (3.06%).

Reynolds Blue Chip Growth (MUTF: RBCGX)

The Reynolds Blue Chip Growth fund’s objective is to seek long-term capital appreciation. The fund usually invests most of net assets (>80%) in the common stocks of well-established growth companies in their industries. These companies typically have a minimum market capitalization of at least $1 billion. It invests in securities of both domestic and foreign (through ADR) blue chip companies.

Top 10 Best International Stock Funds September 2011

This Reynolds fund doesn’t charge any sales load fee, but there is 12b1 fee of 0.09%. It also has an expense ratio of 1.80% per year. The average expense ratio in Large Growth category is 1.31%. This large growth stock fund has $254.4 million total net assets. The fund’s manager is Frederick L. Reynolds since 1988. Investor will need an initial investment of $1,000 to start investing in this Reynolds fund, for either brokerage or IRA account. Additional investment can be done with $100 or more.

This RBCGX fund has experienced 14 years of positive return and 8 years of negative return. The best 1-year total return was occurred in year 1998 with 54.12% and the worst 1 year performance was occurred in year 2002 with -36.56%. Based on the load adjusted return, this fund has returned 25.60% over the past year and 4.09% over the past decade.

The top ten investment holdings of this Reynolds Blue Chip Growth fund as of June 2011 are Apple Inc (1.6%), Baidu Inc (1.3%), Caterpillar Inc (0.8%), Costco Wholesale Corp (0.6%), Schlumberger Ltd (0.5%), Deere & Co (0.4%), Joy Global Inc (0.4%), Crocs Inc (0.4%), Las Vegas Sands Corp (0.4%) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (0.4%).

Delaware Healthcare A (Ticker: DLHAX)

The Delaware Healthcare fund is to provide maximum long-term capital growth capital appreciation. The fund invests majority of assets (>80%) in the equity securities of health care companies. It invests in U.S. and non-U.S. companies across all market capitalizations (small cap, mid cap, and large cap). The fund may also invest in companies located in emerging markets. It is a non-diversified fund.

The lead manager of this Delaware fund is Liu-Er Chen since 2007. This fund’s annual expense ratio is 1.52%. This expense fee is comparable to the average in the Health category mutual fund (1.60%). The 12b1 fee of this fund is 0.30% and the front-end sales load fee is 5.75%. This fund also provides a very small dividend yield of 0.07%. This fund has -1.11% YTD return. The performance of this fund since its inception is:
  • Year 2010: 15.84%
  • Year 2009: 61.31%
  • Year 2008: -12.81%
Based on the load adjusted return, this health sector stock fund has returned 24.00% over the past year and 17.53% over the past three years. If you are interested in this fund, it can be purchased from 34 brokerages with $1,000 minimum initial investment for brokerage account. The other classes of this fund are Class C (Ticker: DLHCX), Institutional Class (Ticker: DLHIX) and Class R (Ticker: DLRHX).

The top 10 holdings of this Delaware Healthcare fund out of 46 holdings are Google Class A Inc (6.7%), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (6.3%), Boston Scientific Corp (6.0%), Smith & Nephew Plc (5.6%), Eli Lily & Co (5.2%), Yahoo! Inc (4.7%), Abbott Laboratories (4.6%), Aetna Inc (3.8%), Merck & Co Inc (3.7%), and Johnson & Johnson (3.5%). These top holdings represent 50.1% of the total portfolio.

Fidelity Select Retailing (Ticker: FSRPX)

The Fidelity Select Retailing fund seeks capital appreciation. The fund normally invests in common stocks. It invests >80% of assets in stocks of companies engaged in merchandising finished goods and services primarily to individual consumers. This Fidelity sector stock fund invests in domestic and foreign issuers. The fund’s management will use fundamental analysis of factors such as financial condition, industry position, market and economic conditions, to select stocks for investment.

This FSRPX fund is classified as Consumer Discretionary Fund. It has been introduced to public in December 16, 1985. The current lead fund’s manager of this Fidelity fund is Peter Dixon. Dixon has managed this fund since April 2010. This is a no-load fund, therefore there is no front end sales load fee or deferred sales load fee. There is as well no management fee.

This fund shares a small dividend of 0.12% and the last dividend distributed was in April 2011 ($0.07). The yearly expense ratio of this fund is 0.93% while the average expense ratio in the category is 1.60%. To start investing in this fund, you will need a minimum of $2,500 for brokerage account and $500 for retirement (IRA) account.

This Fidelity Select Retailing fund can be purchased from 65 brokerages. Since its inception, this FSRPX fund has recorded 17 years of positive return and 8 years of negative return. The best achievement was in 2009 with 57.82%. This fund has 5-stars Morningstar return rating. Based on load adjusted returns, this best domestic stock fund has returned 36.06% over the past year and 7.08% over the past decade. The YTD return of this Fidelity fund is 8.01%. As of June 2011, this FSRPX fund has a total of 45 holdings.

The top ten holdings represent 55.24% of the total portfolio. They are Amazon.com Inc, Home Depot Inc, TJX Companies Inc New, Priceline.com Inc, Limited Brands Inc, Target Corp, Bed Bath and Beyond Inc, Best Buy Co Inc, Macys Inc and Lowes Cos Inc.

Yacktman Focused (MUTF: YAFFX)

The Yacktman Focused fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and, to a lesser extent, current income. This fund invests in domestic and foreign equity securities and debt securities. It may invest some of assets (<20%) in foreign equity securities excluding investment in ADRs form. Its investments in equity securities may include common stocks, convertible stocks, preferred stocks, warrants, options, and ADRs. Debt securities can include U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, investment grade corporate debt securities, convertible debt securities and debt securities below investment grade.

Top 25 Kiplinger's Best Mutual Funds 2012

This Yacktman Focused Fund was introduced to public in April 1997. Donald Yacktman has managed this fund since 1992 then Stephen Yacktman joined this fund in December 2002. This Large Value fund has an annual expense ratio of 1.25%. This fee is comparable to the average in the category (1.27%). This YAFFX fund is a no load fund means it doesn’t charge any front-end sales load fee as well as no deferred sales load. There is also no 12b1 fee.

The fund has total net assets of $3.19 billion. It requires a minimum of $2,500 to open a brokerage account in this fund. IRA account requires lower initial investment of $500. Both accounts request a minimum of $100 for the subsequent investment. There are 83 brokerages in which this fund can be purchased from such as JP Morgan, T Rowe Price, LPL SAM Eligible, E Trade Financial, Fidelity Retail Funds Network, TD Ameritrade Inc, Schwab Retail, Raymond James, Royal Alliance, Ameritas NTF, etc.

As the best fund, Morningstar gave this fund a 5-stars rating for its performance. It has returened 10 positive years and 3 negative years. This fund has 5.03% YTD return. The best achievement of 1-year total return was accomplished in 2009 with 62.76%. Based on the load adjusted returns, this performance of this fund is as below:
  • 1-year: 15.68%
  • 3-year: 17.58%
  • 5-year: 11.12%
  • 10-year: 12.29%
The top ten holdings of this Yacktman Focused Fund as of June 2011 are News Corp. Cl. A (11.4%), PepsiCo Inc. (10.1%), Procter & Gamble Co. (8.5%), Microsoft Corp (7.4%), Cisco Systems (4.3%), Coca-Cola Co. (4.1%), Pfizer Inc. (3.6%), Sysco Corporation (3.5%), Viacom Inc. Cl. B (3.0%) and Johnson & Johnson (2.8%). The top sectors or components are Consumer Staples (30.5%), Consumer Discretionary (20.2%), Information Technology (16.19%), Health Care (12.8%) and Cash and Equivalents (12.5%).

Firsthand Technology Opportunities (TEFQX)

The Firsthand Technology Opportunities fund’s objective is to provide long-term growth of capital. The fund typically invests > 80% of assets in growing high-technology companies. It may buy stocks of small-, mid-, and large-cap companies. The fund's investment portfolio includes younger companies with market capitalization in the small- or mid-cap categories. It is a non-diversified mutual fund. This fund has no management fee and no sales load fee.

It charges 1.85% of annual expense ratio. The average expense ratio in the Technology category is 1.67%. This Firsthand is currently managed by Kevin Landis and Han M. Lee. The CUSIP of this fund is 337941504. To start investing in this TEFQX fund, either by opening a brokerage account or IRA account, investor will need a minimum of $2,000 for the initial investment.

This Firsthand Technology Opportunities fund has 5-stars rating from Morningstar. It has -5.95% YTD return and 13.26% 5-year average return. Record shown that this TEFQX has performed in 7 years of positive return and 4 years of negative return since its inception in September 1999. The best 1-year total return was 73.98% (in year 2009). This fund has returned 20.35% over the past year based on load adjusted return.

As of June 2011, the top ten holdings of this fund are Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc, National Semiconductor Corp, Google Inc, Baidu.com Inc, Ctrip.com International Ltd, Sina Corp, Skyworks Solutions Inc, Apple Inc, Fortinet Inc, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. These ten holdings represent 35.6% of the total portfolio.

Intrepid Small Cap (ICMAX)

The Intrepid Small Cap fund is trying to provide long-term capital appreciation. The fund invests majority of net assets (>80%) in equity securities of small capitalization companies. It invests in undervalued equity securities and in internally financed companies generating cash in excess of their business needs, with predictable revenue streams, and in industries with high barriers to entry. The fund is non-diversified.

This Interpid Small Cap Fund was introduced to public in October 2005. Jayme C. Wiggins has been the lead fund manager of this fund September 2010. He is assisted by Mark Travis and Gregory M. Estes. This fund is classified as the Small Value stock fund. This top fund doesn’t have any dividend. The ICMAX fund charges 1.40% annual expense ratio. The annual expense ratio in the Small Value category is 1.47%. The 12b1 fee of this fund is 0.25%. There is no sales load fee for investing in this fund.

The minimum initial investment is $2,500 for either brokerage or IRA account with $100 minimum subsequent investment. This fund can be purchased from 55 brokerages such as JP Morgan, Schwab Retail, TD Ameritrade Inc, E Trade Financial, Raymond James, Ameritas NTF, Investacorp NTF, RBC Wealth Management-Wrap Eligible, etc. This fund is available in Institutional Class (ICMZX) as well. Up to August 26, 2011, this fund has -5.14% year-to-date return. The yearly performance of this fund since its inception is as below:
  • Year 2006: 14.59%
  • Year 2007: 10.40%
  • Year 2008: - 7.12%
  • Year 2009: 39.88%
  • Year 2010: 18.97%
This fund has a total of 41 total holdings as of June 2011. The top ten holdings of this fund are CSG Systems International, Inc. (3.1%), Mantech International Corp. (2.9%), Core-mark Holding co., Inc. (2.8%), Regis corp. (2.7%), Teleflex, Inc. (2.6%), FTL consulting, Inc. (2.6%), Securitas AB (2.6%), Scholastic Corp. (2.4%), Total System Services, Inc. (2.3%) and Amerisafe, Inc. (2.3%).

Invesco Small Companies A (ATIAX)

The Invesco Small Companies fund investment seeks long-term growth of capital. The fund invests most of net assets (>80%) in securities of small-capitalization. It invests primarily in equity securities. This Invesco fund may invest <25% of net assets in foreign securities and 10% of net assets in fixed-income securities such as investment-grade debt securities, longer-term U.S. government securities and high-quality money market investments.

Robert Mikalachiki has managed this best fund since its inception in November 2003. The fund has total net assets of $683.81 million. The average annual expense ratio in the Small Blend Category is 1.38% while the annual expense ratio of this ATIAX fund is 1.31%. The minimum amount needed to start investing in the brokerage account of this fund is $1,000 with $50 minimum subsequent investment. The 12b1 fee is 0.25% and the front-end sales load fee is 5.50%.

Morningstar has rated this fund with 5-stars rating (i.e. the highest rating). Since its inception, it has 6 years of positive return and only 1 year of negative return so far. The worst 1-year total return was occurred in 2008 with -40.51%, and the best achievement was occurred in 2009 with 65.47%. The fund has 3.06% YTD return. Based on the load adjusted return, this fund has returned 26.80% over the past year and 7.86% over the past five years.

Investor can choose from other classes of this fund such as Class C (ATICX), Class Y (ATIYX), Class R (ATIRX) and Class I (ATIIX). The expense ratio for Class C is 2.08% and 1.08% for Class Y. This fund can be purchased from 104 brokerages, like JP Morgan, Schwab Institutional, Prudential Retail, Merrill Lynch, Vanguard, Edward Jones, Td Ameritrade Inc, E Trade Financial, Morgan Stanley Advisors, etc. As of the second quarter of 2011, this Invesco fund has a total of 27 holdings.

The top ten holdings are Kinetic Concepts Inc (6.63%), Smart Modular Technologies Inc (5.50%), International Rectifier Corp (5.40%), Alliance Data Systems Corp (5.39%), Brightpoint Inc (5.01%), Alere Inc (4.81%), First Service Corp (4.76%), Synaptics Inc (4.59%), John Wiley & Sons Inc (4.47%) and Generac Holdings Inc (4.13%).

Yacktman (MUTF: YACKX)

The Yacktman fund is seeking long-term capital appreciation and to provide income. The fund invests in both domestic and foreign equity securities and debt securities. It invests <20% of assets in foreign equity securities excluding investments in the form of ADRs. The fund's investments in equity securities may include common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible stocks, and ADRs. Its investments in debt securities may include U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, investment grade corporate debt securities, convertible debt securities and debt securities below investment grade (high yield bonds or junk bonds).

This fund has 5-stars rating from Morningstar. Since its inception in July 1992, this Yacktman fund has been managed by Donald A. Yacktman. The fund has a dividend yield of 0.85%. The annual expense ratio of this fund is 0.85%. This fee is lower than the average in the Large Value category which is 1.27%. This fund doesn’t have any management fee or sales load.

During his tenure, this fund has recorded 14 years of positive return and 4 years of negative return. The best 1-year total return was in 2009 with 59.31% and the worst return in year 2008 with -26.05%. Investor will need a minimum of $2,500 for the initial investment in brokerage account and $500 in IRA account. The minimum subsequent investment is $100. This fund can be purchased from 87 brokerages like JP Morgan, T Rowe Price, Schwab Retail, Dreyfus NTF, Fidelity Retail Funds Network, E Trade Financial, TD Ameritrade Inc, etc.

The top 10 holdings out of the total 38 common equity holdings are News Corp Class A (10.7%), PepsiCo Inc (9.8%), Microsoft Corp (5.1%), Procter & Gamble Co (5.0%), Cisco Systems (4.3%), Johnson & Johnson (4.1%), Coca-Cola Co (4.1%), Sysco Corporation (3.6%), Viacom Inc Class B (3.3%), and ConocoPhillips (3.0%). The top 5 components or sectors are Consumer Staples (27.4%), Consumer Discretionary (20.6%), Information Technology (15.4%), Health Care (14.6%) and Cash and Equivalents (13.1%).
Disclosure: No Position

Funds Performance



NoNameTickerRatingYieldExpense RatioLoadNet Assets (mil)Min to Invest
1Oceanstone FundOSFDX50.00%1.80%0.00%$16 $2,000
2WorldCommodityWCOMX50.62%1.61%0.00%$1 $3,000
3Reynolds Blue Chip GrowthRBCGX40.00%1.80%0.00%$254 $1,000
4Delaware Healthcare ADLHAX50.07%1.52%5.75%$61 $1,000
5Fidelity Select RetailingFSRPX40.12%0.93%0.00%$217 $2,500
6Yacktman FocusedYAFFX50.55%1.25%0.00%$3,200 $2,500
7Firsthand Technology OpportunitiesTEFQX50.00%1.85%0.00%$125 $2,000
8Intrepid Small CapICMAX50.00%1.40%0.00%$706 $2,500
9Invesco Small Companies AATIAX40.00%1.31%5.50%$684 $1,000
10YacktmanYACKX50.85%0.85%0.00%$5,400 $2,500
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