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Zacks #1 Ranked Balanced 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.

Franklin Balanced A (FBLAX - Free Report) 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. This balanced mutual fund returned 10.64% over the last one year period.

Edward Perks is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2006.

Calvert Aggressive Allocation Fund Class A (CAAAX - Free Report) is a fund of funds that invests in a number of Calvert fixed-income, equity and money market funds. The fund seeks long-term capital growth and invests in keeping with the established target asset allocation. This balanced mutual fund returned 23.84% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.43% compared to a category average of 0.88%.

Catalyst/SMH Total Return Income A (TRIFX - Free Report) provides total return. It invests a variety of income-generating securities such as dividend-paying common stocks, REITs, debt securities, as well as interest-paying and convertible bonds. This balanced mutual fund returned 13.35% over the last one year period.

As of September 2013, this balanced mutual fund held 38 issues, with 5.62% of its total assets invested in Blackstone Group LP.

Hartford Balanced Income Fund Class A (HBLAX - Free Report) seeks current income. The fund 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. This balanced mutual fund returned 10.29% over the last one year period.

The balanced mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.83% compared to a category average of 0.91%.

ING American Funds Asset Allocation Port seeks high total return as well as capital preservation. The fund invests substantially all of its assets in Master fund Class 1 shares. The Master fund in turn invests between 40%-80% of its assets in equity securities. 20%-50% of its assets are utilized to purchase debt instruments. A maximum of 40% of its assets are invested in money market instruments. The balanced mutual fund returned 20.37% over the last one year period.

Eugene P. Stein is the fund manager and has managed this balanced mutual fund since 2008.

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.

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