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Few New Funds Get 'Buy' Recommendation

Only steady or conservative funds received "buy" recommendations from Ratings.

TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

Only three of 26 newly rated equity funds received "buy" recommendations from Ratings.

The funds, listed in the accompanying table, sport steady strategies and conservative investments.

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Federated Target ETF 2015


earned a B-plus grade from Ratings by investing in a sensible mix of low-expense exchange traded funds, with its biggest holding the broadly diversified

iShares S&P 500 Index ETF

(IVV) - Get iShares Core S&P 500 ETF Report

. With an expense ratio of 0.75%, it doesn't burden holders with excessive management costs.


ING Lifestyle Moderate Portfolio Fund


is a B-plus rated fund of funds with about equal percentages of equity and fixed-income holdings.

Finally, the

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund

(VDAIX) - Get Vanguard Dividend Apprec Index Inv Report

earned its grade of B by tracking the

Mergent Dividend Achievers Select Index

. With a thin expense ratio of 0.4%, its largest holdings include mainstays such as


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report


Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Procter & Gamble Company Report


TheStreet Recommends

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report


Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report


The four members of the


group on the list -- three of which have the worst possible grade of E-minus -- provide a lesson in the perils of leveraged mutual funds.

ProFunds-Ultra Emerging Markets

(UUPIX) - Get ProFunds UltraEmerg Markets Inv Report

aims for a daily return of double the percentage change in the

Bank of New York Emerging Markets 50 ADR Index


ProFunds Ultra Short Emerging Markets

(UVPIX) - Get ProFunds UltraShort Emkt Inv Report

endeavors to produce a daily return of twice the amplitude of the opposite of the same gauge. So it might be expected that over time, one should be up and the other down. Yet both are down over the past 12 months and each has suffered sizeable losses over the past three years.

For the "mirror image"

ProFunds Ultra International Fund

(UNPIX) - Get ProFunds UltraInternational Inv Report

and the

ProFunds-Ultra Short International

(UXPIX) - Get ProFunds UltraShort Intl Inv Report

, both have fallen this year and over the past three years, even though they track, respectively, double the long and short sides of the



Richard Widows is a senior financial analyst for Ratings. Prior to joining, 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.