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Best of Funds

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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.

American Funds Global Balanced A (GBLAX - MF report) invests in debt and equity securities, both domestic and foreign. The fund invests a minimum of 45% of its assets in common stock and other equity securities. A minimum of 25% of its assets are invested in debt securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 11.93% over the last one year period.

David M. Riley is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2011.

Franklin Balanced A (FBLAX - MF report) seeks both capital growth and income. The fund invests in dividend yielding stocks, debt securities and convertible instruments. A minimum of 25% of its assets are invested in debt securities. It aims to invest a maximum of 15% of its assets in foreign securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 10.30% over the last one year period.

As of June 2013, this balanced mutual fund held 168 issues, with 1.49% of its total assets invested in Schlumberger NV.

Hartford Balanced Income A (HBLAX - MF report) aims to invest 45% of its assets in equity securities and 55% in fixed income instruments. A maximum of 20% of its assets are utilized to purchase domestic junk bonds. The balanced mutual fund returned 9.85% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.83% compared to a category average of 0.93%.

Fidelity Global Balanced (FGBLX - MF report) seeks capital appreciation and income. The fund invests in equity and debt securities, including junk bonds. A minimum of 25% of its assets is utilized to purchase fixed income senior securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 9.52% over the last one year period.

Geoffrey Stein is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2009.

JPMorgan Income Builder A (JNBAX - MF report) invests in both domestic and foreign debt and equity securities. The fund may invest nearly all its assets in junk bonds and equity securities rated below investment grade. A maximum of 60% of its assets may be invested in equity securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 11.08% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.74% compared to a category average of 0.93%

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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