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Mutual Fund Commentary

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.

DWS Global Income Builder A (KTRAX - MF report) invests in securities irrespective of size, category or credit worthiness issued by any company in the globe. Investments are parked in three or more countries. A minimum of 40% of its assets are invested in securities issued by foreign companies. Fixed income senior securities attract investment of a minimum of 25%. The balanced mutual fund returned 10.87% over the last one year period.

Thomas J. Schuessler is 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 11.01% over the last one year period.

As of March 2013, this balanced mutual fund held 300 issues, with 2.56% of its total assets invested in ONEOK, Inc.

Mairs & Power Balanced (MAPOX - MF report) invests with the objective of obtaining yield which is at least 25% higher than the S&P 500. Investments are parked in equity and fixed income securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 16.59% in the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 0.74% compared to a category average of 0.96%.

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 16.69% in the last one year period.

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

ING Franklin Income Portfolio (IIFAX - MF report) invests in both equity and debt securities. The fund focuses on increasing its income by investing in foreign, corporate and U.S. Treasury Bonds. Stocks which have high dividend yields are also considered for investment. The balanced mutual fund returned 10.94% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.38% 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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