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TheStreet Open House

10 Best Growth and Income Funds for 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- TheStreet Ratings reviews the risk-adjusted return performance of around 25,000 funds every month. The best rated growth and income exchange-traded funds for 2012 are listed each month at TheStreet's Top-Rated ETFs page.

None of exchange-traded growth and income funds ranked in the "Buy" range. So, our listing of the top funds in this category is led by eight open-end funds and two traditional closed-end funds, all of which outperformed the exchange-traded funds in our rankings. Funds seeking either growth or income only as a secondary objective did not qualify for this top 10 list.

Here are the 10 best growth and income funds for 2012:

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10. Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities

Guggenheim Strategic Opportunities (GOF) seeks to maximize total return through a combination of current income and capital appreciation. This traditional closed-end fund may pursue a relative value based investment philosophy which utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify securities that deviate from their perceived fair value and historical norms. The fund may seek to achieve its objective by investing in a wide range of fixed income and other debt and senior equity securities from a variety of sectors and credit qualities like corporate bonds, loan participations, structured finance investments, U.S. government and agency securities, mezzanine and preferred securities and convertible securities and in common equity securities.

Expense Ratio: 2.69%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "B+" by TheStreet Ratings

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9. TCW Strategic Income Fund

TCW Strategic Income Fund (TSI) is a diversified, closed-end fund. The fund's objective is a total investment return, made up of both current income and capital appreciation. The fund invests approximately 70% of its assets in fixed income and 30% in equities. Mortgage-backed, asset-backed and convertibles securities can be included in the TCW Strategic Income Fund portfolio.

Expense Ratio: 1.19%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A-" by TheStreet Ratings

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8. T Rowe Price Retirement 2015

T Rowe Price Retirement 2015 (TRRGX) has an investment objective to provide total return over time consistent with an emphasis on both capital growth and income. The fund may invest 55% of its assets in stocks and the remaining 41% in bonds. The fund pursues the objective by investing in a diversified portfolio of stock and bond funds. The fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing in a set of underlying mutual funds representing various asset classes and sectors.

Expense Ratio: 0.65%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A-" by TheStreet Ratings

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7. Vanguard STAR Fund

Vanguard STAR Fund (VGSTX) seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation and income. The fund invests in a diversified group of other mutual funds. The fund invests 60% to 70% of its assets in common stocks through eight stock funds; 20% to 30% of its assets in bonds through two bond funds; and 10% to 20% of its assets in short-term investments through a short-term bond fund. The stock fund holdings emphasize large-capitalization stocks of domestic companies and, to a lesser extent, a diversified group of stocks in companies located outside the United States. The bond fund holdings focus predominantly on short- and long-term investment-grade corporate bonds and GNMA mortgage-backed securities.

Expense Ratio: 0.34%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A" by TheStreet Ratings

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6. Allianz AGIC Income & Growth A

Allianz AGIC Income & Growth A (AZNAX) seeks to achieve total return comprised of current income, current gains and capital appreciation. The fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a combination of common stocks and other equity securities, debt securities and convertible securities. The fund investment in debt securities and a substantial portion of its convertible securities consist of securities rated below investment grade. The fund may invest a portion of its assets in non US securities, including emerging markets securities. The fund may invest in securities of companies with any size market capitalization, but ordinarily expects to focus its common stock investments in companies with market capitalizations of $3 billion or more.

Expense Ratio: 1.32%

Front Load: 5.50%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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5. Intrepid Capital Investor

Intrepid Capital Investor (ICMBX) seeks long term capital appreciation and high current income. The fund invests primarily in undervalued small- and mid-capitalization companies with less than $10 billion of market capitalization. The fund seeks to invest in internally financed companies generating cash in excess of their business needs, with predictable revenue streams, and in industries with high barriers to entry. The fund investments in high yield securities will not be limited in duration, but typically will be in securities having duration of two to six years at the time of purchase.

Expense Ratio: 1.54%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 2.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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4. Dunham Appreciation & Income A

Dunham Appreciation & Income A (DAAIX) has an investment objective to maximize total return under varying market conditions through both current income and capital appreciation. The fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in a diversified portfolio of convertible, equity and fixed income securities. The fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of convertible, equity and fixed income securities. The stock selection process of the fund consists of four major steps of credit analysis, equity analysis, convertible analysis and overall portfolio analysis. The average term to maturity of the convertible and fixed income securities purchased by the fund will typically range from five to ten years.

Expense Ratio: 1.77%

Front Load: 5.75%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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3. Calamos Growth and Income A

Calamos Growth and Income A (CVTRX) has an investment objective to provide high long term total return through growth and current income. The fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of convertible, equity and fixed income securities of U.S. issuers without regard to market capitalization. The fund attempts to utilize these different types of securities to strike, in the opinion of the investment adviser, the appropriate balance between growth and income. The average term to maturity of the convertible and fixed income securities purchased by the fund may typically range from two to ten years.

Expense Ratio: 1.09%

Front Load: 4.75%

Back Load: 0.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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2. Fidelity Capital & Income

Fidelity Capital & Income (FAGIX) seeks to provide a combination of income and capital growth. The fund invests in equity and debt securities including defaulted securities. The fund may invest in domestic and foreign issuers. The fund uses fundamental analysis of each issuer financial condition and industry position and market and economic conditions to select investments.

Expense Ratio: 0.76%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 1.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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1. Tilson Dividend

Tilson Dividend (TILDX) seeks maximum total return through a combination of capital appreciation and current income. The fund seeks to achieve its objective by investing in common stocks of companies that offer high dividend yields relative to the yield of the broad market averages such as the S&P 500 Total Return Index. The fund invests in common stocks and other equity securities including real estate investment trusts, publicly traded master limited partnerships, royalty trusts, preferred stocks, convertible bonds, convertible preferred stocks, and warrants. Bonds include all varieties of fixed-income securities including investment-grade and lower-quality debt securities maturing in more than one year.

Expense Ratio: 2.78%

Front Load: 0.00%

Back Load: 2.00%

Rated "A+" by TheStreet Ratings

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How We Rate Funds

TheStreet Ratings condenses the available fund performance and risk data, including penalties for load charges, 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."

-- Written 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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