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Mad Money's Jim Kramer thinks individuals who choose to invest in actively managed mutual funds are 'getting hosed.' He recommends choosing a low-fee index fund that mirrors the S&P 500.  Cramer thinks an investor can beat the performance of an index by picking the stocks themselves. However, if you are not up for that task, steer clear of managed mutual funds and ETFs with the exception of the GLD ETF. Read the full article here. 

Top 5 Mutual Funds 

A balanced fund has a portfolio of diversified holdings of both stocks and funds. By investing in both properties, the fund is able to take advantage of the underlying strengths of both classes of instruments. Most well run funds in this classification maintain the proportion of assets held in different asset classes agile and shift the proportion in accordance with prevalent marketing conditions. This guarantees that fixed income securities shelter the portfolio from losses when the market takes a dip while equity securities are able to take advantage of returns from a market rising. Below we share the Top 5 Rated Balanced Mutual Funds, based off of ratings from Zack's. 

American Beacon Balanced A (ABFAX) invests 50% to 70% of its assets in equity securities and 30% to 50% in debt securities. Its equity investments include common stocks, preferred stocks, Real Estate Investment Trusts, American Depositary Receipts, and foreign stocks denominated in U.S. dollar and traded on U.S. exchanges. The balanced mutual fund has returned 9.1% over the last one year period.

As of November 2014, the fund held 535 issues with 5.33% of its assets invested in S+p500 Emini Fut Dec14 Xcme 20141219

Bruce Fund (BRUFX) seeks long term-capital appreciation. The fund mostly invests in domestic common stocks, convertible bonds and "zero coupon" government bonds. The fund may invest in foreign securities directly or through American Depository Receipts or Global Depository Receipts. The balanced mutual fund has returned 13.5% over the last one year period.

The fund has an expense ratio of 0.7% as compared to category average of 0.94%.

Pioneer Classic Balanced A (AOBLX) generally invests between 35% and 65% of its assets in both equity and debt securities. It invests in debt securities having broad range of maturities. It maintains an average portfolio maturity that may vary depending upon the investment advisor's judgment. The balanced mutual fund has returned 10.9% over the last one year period.

As of November 2014, the fund held 457 issues with 2.4% of its assets invested in Microsoft Corp

Lord Abbett Multi-Asset Growth A (LWSAX) seeks long-term capital growth and income. The fund invests in mutual funds that are managed by Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC. The underlying funds invest in domestic equity securities and fixed income instruments and in foreign securities. The underlying fund invests in both growth and value stocks. The balanced mutual fund returned 8% over the last one year period.

Robert I. Gerber is the portfolio manager and has managed this fund since 2005.

Eaton Vance Balanced A (EVIFX) invests its assets in common stocks and fixed-income securities. It invests in two other registered investment companies managed by Eaton Vance Management. It invests 50%-75% of its assets in equity securities, and 25%-50% of its assets in fixed-income securities by investing in Stock Portfolio and Investment Grade Income Portfolio, respectively. The balanced mutual fund has returned 10.3% over the last one year period.

As of November 2014, the fund held 365 issues with 2.75% of its assets invested in US Treasury Note 4.625%

Mutual funds are not the only way to help you retire happy.

Other options include IRAs, 401(k)s and more. 

Mutual Funds

Our experts can guide you to pick the right mutual fund for your needs--from general investing to retirement planning.

Mutual funds are a great investment option but not the only one. Learn about alternatives to mutual funds.

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