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10 Best Mutual Funds for 2012

NEW YORK (TheStreet Ratings) -- TheStreet Ratings reviews the risk-adjusted performance of around 25,000 funds every month. The best overall-rated mutual funds for 2012 are updated monthly on our Top-Rated Mutual Funds page.

1. No mutual fund ranks higher than the Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX) with an overall rating of "A+", or Excellent. The fund has maintained an A+ rating since December 2007.

The Permanent Portfolio seeks to preserve and increase the purchasing power value of its shares over the long term. The fund invests a fixed target percentage of its net assets in gold, silver, Swiss franc assets, stocks of U.S. and foreign real estate and natural resource companies, aggressive growth stock and dollar assets such as U.S. Treasury securities and short term corporate bonds. The fund may invest in shares of companies of any market capitalization including small or mid-capitalization companies. However, at least 60 percent of its investment in aggressive growth stocks will ordinarily be in securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

2. The second best overall rated fund is the Bruce Fund (BRUFX). The fund been ranked at "A+" in 10 of the last 11 months.

The Bruce Fund has an investment objective of long term capital appreciation. The fund seeks to achieve the objective by investing primarily in domestic common stocks and bonds. The fund invests in stocks of any capitalization. The fund also invests in foreign securities. This no-load fund has an expense ratio of 0.82%. As of the June 30, 2011 annual report, top stock holdings included Pfizer (PFE) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) with corporate convertible bonds of MannKind Corp (MNKD) and Cell Therapeutics (CTIC).

Rounding out the top 10 best mutual funds for 2012:

3. ING Value Choice A (PAVAX)

4. Nuveen Tradewinds Value Opp A (NVOAX)

5. Tilson Dividend (TILDX)

6. Schwab Tax-Free Bond Fund (SWNTX)

7. Appleseed Fund Investor (APPLX)

8. Vanguard Wellesley Income Inv (VWINX)

9. Matthews Asia Dividend Fund Inv (MAPIX)

10. ING Morgan Stanley Global Franch A (IGFAX)

Research Methodology

TheStreet Ratings condenses the available fund performance and risk data into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows the unbiased identification of those funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market. While there is no guarantee of future performance, these investment ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions. In order to qualify for a rating, an open-end fund must either have three years of risk and return data or be an additional share class of an existing fund with at least three years of performance statistics.

Funds rated "A" or "B" are considered "Buy" based on a track record of higher than average risk-adjusted performance. Funds at the "C" level are rated as "Hold," while underperformers at the "D" and "E" levels our model ranks as "Sell."

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

MORE FROM THESTREET RATINGS:




Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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