This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Hybrid Funds Stand Out in Year-to-Date Returns

They make up only a small fraction of the broad "equity" category of open-end mutual funds. Yet "hybrid" funds that blend equity and fixed-income investments in their portfolios placed five members on the accompanying list of the 10 equity funds with the highest year-to-date marks from TheStreet.com Ratings.

Every fund in the table sports an A+ grade.

Three of the hybrids on the list are of the domestic "asset allocation" species that vary their equity/fixed-income mixes to optimize returns according to the outlooks of their respective managers.

One other fund on the list does the same, with the added option of doing so with a worldwide scope.

The remaining hybrid fund, the John Hancock Balanced Fund (SVBAX), tends to maintain a steadier stock/bond mix that's generally tilted in favor of equities.

SVBAX's largest holdings are Alcoa (AA) and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

Of the remaining funds in the table, two are broadly classified in domestic growth category. However, the second word in the name of the Pinnacle Value Fund (PVFIX) suggests a generally conservative investment posture.

Although its stated objective is long-term capital appreciation, PVFIX has edged toward an asset allocation approach by recently holding cash and equivalents equal to more than 60% of its portfolio value. Its largest securities holdings are Argan (AGX) and Conrad Industries (CNRD).

The other member of the elite group listed broadly as a domestic growth fund has been achieving its portfolio gains using the unconventional methodology suggest by its name: The Prudent Bear Fund (BEARX).

Of the 10 funds on the list, BEARX's 5.42% appreciation for the first three months of the year tops the list, while its 12-month gain or 16.50% outscored all but one of the others.

Two of the funds on the list are broadly classified as equity income funds. One of them, the TFS Market Neutral Fund (TFSMX), is another unconventional fund -- appropriate for these uncommon times -- whose investment strategy is given away by its name.

The fund's portfolio of long and short positions produced a return of 7.08% for the 12 months ended March 31, a period when the S&P 500 total-return index skidded 5.08%.

TSFMX's setback of 1.52% during the first quarter of 2008 was relatively mild when compared with the S&P's decline of 9.45% for the same period.

TheStreet.com Ratings Top-Rated Equity & Hybrid Mutual Funds
NAME, TICKER & TheStreet.com RATINGS GRADE INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE 3-MO. TOTAL RETR'N (%) 12-MO. TOTAL RET'N (%) 3-YR. ANN'L RET'N (%) SALES CHARGE TYPE
BB&T Equity Income A (BAEIX) A+ Equity Income -3.12 2.19 12.25 Front Load
BlackRock Glb Allocation Inv A (MDLOX) A+ Asset Allocation - Global -1.77 12.36 13.36 Front Load
Fidelity Adv Consumer Staples A (FDAGX) A+ Growth - Domestic -2.54 12.81 14.27 Front Load
Ivy Fund-Asset Strategy A (WASAX) A+ Asset Allocation - Domestic -2.49 33.19 25.42 Front Load
J Hancock Balanced A (SVBAX) A+ Balanced - Domestic -3.28 14.67 15.33 Front Load
Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX) A+ Asset Allocation - Domestic 3.83 13.81 13.07 No Load
PIMCO All Asset All Authority A (PAUAX) A+ Asset Allocation - Domestic 3.30 10.31 7.57 Front Load
Pinnacle Value Fund (PVFIX) A+ Growth - Domestic -2.70 7.78 11.45 No Load
Prudent Bear Fd (BEARX) A+ Growth - Domestic 5.42 16.50 8.92 No Load
TFS Market Neutral Fund (TFSMX) A+ Equity Income -1.52 7.08 13.20 No Load
APPLICABLE INDICES
S&P 500 Composite Total Return -9.45 -5.08 5.85
Blend: 60% S&P 500-- 40% Lehman Bros. Aggreg. Bond Index -4.88 0.03 5.82
Blend: 60% MSCI World-- 40% Lehman Bros. Aggreg. Bond Index -4.54 1.51 8.42
For an explanation of our ratings, click here.
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings - Data as of 3/31/2008.

Richard Widows is a senior financial analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,501.65 -12.72 -0.08%
S&P 500 1,875.39 -4.16 -0.22%
NASDAQ 4,126.9670 -34.4910 -0.83%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs