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Best of Funds

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Investors seeking total return, both regular income and long term capital appreciation, should include balanced funds in their portfolio. Balanced funds are perhaps the most flexible and actively managed category of mutual funds as their investments offer exposure across a variety of asset classes and sectors. Moreover, these funds not only seek to provide good returns during favorable market conditions, but also provide protection against substantial capital loss during difficult times.

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 both capital growth and current income. At present, the fund’s portfolio consists of the different equity and fixed income of various master portfolios. As per the fund’s “neutral” target allocation 655 of its assets are invested in equities and 35% in bonds. The balanced mutual fund returned 23.65% in the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.95% compared to a category average of 1.00%.

Mairs & Power Balanced (MAPOX - MF report) focuses on acquiring common stock, related convertible securities as well as fixed-income securities. The fund focuses on acquiring investment grade fixed-income securities with higher ratings. It may also invest in convertible and non-convertible securities with lower ratings. The balanced mutual fund returned 24.64% in the last one year period.

As of December 2011, this balanced mutual fund held 209 issues, with 2.71% of its total assets invested in 3M Co.

MFS Diversified Income A (DIFAX - MF report) seeks current income, with a secondary objective of capital growth. The fund invests in a wide variety of equity and debt securities issued by domestic and foreign entities. It may purchase convertible and emerging market securities. The balanced mutual fund returned 19.66% in the last one year period.

James T. Swanson is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2006.

Holland Balanced (HOLBX - MF report) invests in both equity securities and fixed income securities rated investment grade. The fund focuses on acquiring common stocks and domestic government securities and treasury inflation protected securities. A maximum of 25% of its assets are invested in money market instruments of high quality. The balanced mutual fund returned 22.04% in the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.50% compared to a category average of 1.00%.

Davis Appreciation & Income A (RPFCX - MF report) seeks both growth and income. The fund invests in common stock and preferred stock, bonds as well as cash. The fund focuses on investing in domestic firms, but may also invest in foreign companies. It selects common stock issued by growth oriented companies, regardless of their size. The balanced mutual fund returned 14.54% in the last one year period.

Andrew Adams Davis is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 1993.

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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