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Best of Funds

Balanced funds provide investors with the convenience of buying into a single fund rather holding both equity and bond funds. This category of funds also reduces a portfolio’s volatility while providing higher returns than pure fixed income investments. Fund managers of such funds also enjoy the flexibility of varying the proportion of equity and fixed income investments in response to market conditions. An upswing may prompt them to hold a relatively higher share of equity in order to maximize gains; whereas a downturn sees them turning to fixed income investments to stem losses.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated balanced mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect the fund to outperform its peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all balanced funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Balanced (NVGBX - MF report) seeks capital appreciation and current income. Investments are made in those securities with low volatility and the potential to provide steady returns. At least 65% of its assets are invested in equity while the remainder is invested in fixed income securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 22.16% in the last one year period.

Erik P. Sens is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2013.

Mairs & Power Balanced (MAPOX - MF report) invests in common stock and fixed income securities. The fund seeks to invest in securities which can provide consistent regular income and capital growth. Investments are made with the objective of obtaining yield which is at least 25% higher than the S&P 500. This balanced mutual fund returned 21.92% over the last one year period.

As of June 2013, this balanced mutual fund held 286 issues, with 2.78% of its total assets invested in Medtronic, Inc.

Lord Abbett Balanced Strategy A (LABFX - MF report) seeks positive returns regardless of market situation. The fund invests in mutual funds managed by Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC. Effectively, fund invests indirectly in domestic, foreign and fixed income securities. This balanced mutual fund returned 22.54% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.30% compared to a category average of 0.96%.

Fidelity Balanced (FBALX - MF report) invests about 60% of its assets in equity securities and stocks. The remainder of the assets is invested in bonds and debt securities. A minimum of 25% of its assets are invested in fixed-income senior securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 17.50% over the last one year period.

Pramod D. Atluriis the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2012.

T. Rowe Price Balanced (PAXWX - MF report) seeks principal protection and income along with capital growth on a long-term basis. The fund invests 60% to 75% of its assets in equity securities while the remainder is invested in debt securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 16.39% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.94% compared to a category average of 0.89%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all balanced mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.

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