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Best of Funds

During difficult economic conditions, the demand for essential services such as utilities remains more or less constant. Since this category of funds protects investments during a downturn, they are viewed as a defensive choice, and have gained strength in current market conditions. They are also an excellent choice for investors seeking a steady income flow from consistent dividends yields. Investments in this sector are usually considered to be a conservative investment option. However, many utilities funds are now venturing into emerging markets and provide appreciably higher returns at relatively lower levels of risk.

Below we will share with you the 5 best performing utilities mutual funds year to date. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all utilities funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Mutual Fund

Zacks Rank

Total Return YTD

Calvert Global Water Fund A

#3 Hold

18.53%

Allianz RCM Global Water A

#5 Strong Sell

15.12%

MFS Utilities Fund A

#1 Strong Buy

12.35%

Kinetics Water Infrastructure

#4 Sell

9.89%

Franklin Utilities A

#1 Strong Buy

9.06%

 
Calvert Global Water A (CFWAX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets is equity securities issued by domestic and foreign firms from the water sector. The fund holds a broad portfolio of companies which have taken initiatives to address issues regarding corporate social responsibility and sustainability. This utilities mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 9.37%.

The utilities mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,000 and an expense ratio of 1.85% compared to a category average of 1.47%.

Allianz RCM Global Water A (AWTAX - MF report) seeks capital growth over the long term. A large share of the fund’s assets is utilised to purchase companies which are included in at least one of these indexes: The S&P Global Water Index, the Palisades Water or Global Water Indices and the Janney Water Index. The utilities mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 9.74%.

Andreas Fruschki is the fund manager and has managed this utilities mutual fund since 2008.

MFS Utilities A (MMUFX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets is securities issued by companies from the utilities sector. It focuses on purchasing equity securities but may also purchase debt instruments. The bulk of the debt securities held are rated investment grade. This utilities mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 14.17%.

The utilities mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.04% compared to a category average of 1.35%.

Kinetics Water Infrastructure A (KWIAX - MF report) seeks long term capital appreciation. The fund invests the majority of its assets is securities issued by domestic and foreign companies whose primary operations involve water infrastructure and related activities. The fund may invest all of its assets in fixed income securities. The utilities mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 2.06%.

As of September 2012, this utilities mutual fund held 26 issues, with 30.60% of its total assets invested in Mueller Wtr Prods 7.375%.

Franklin Utilities A (FKUTX - MF report) invests a large share of its assets in securities listed on at least one index made up entirely of electricity, natural gas, cable television, water or sanitation services companies. The utilities mutual fund has a three year annualized return of 15.48%.

John Kohli is the fund manager has managed this utilities mutual fund since 1998.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all utilities 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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