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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.


Managers AMG FQ Global Alternatives Fund



TIAA-CREF Managed Allocation Fund


are among the most attractive mutual funds to own because their go-anywhere policy gives managers investing flexibility.

With an initial rating of A, or "excellent," the Managers AMG FQ Global Alternatives Fund takes both long and short positions in global equities, fixed-income securities and derivative contracts on a country-by-country basis to make money no matter which way the overall market moves. It's the highest-ranked fund, according to Ratings' newly initiated coverage of 33 open-end mutual funds that accrued a track record of three years of risk and performance data by the end of March. Four of the funds received "buy" ratings.

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The second-highest ranked fund in our new coverage is the TIAA-CREF Managed Allocation Fund, which is allocated to 58% equity, 9% government debt, 13% corporate debt and 20% mortgage assets. This fund is ranked "good."

The FQ Global Alternatives Fund's philosophy is that market-beating returns can be generated by identifying recurring market inefficiencies due to the time lag of information and other factors whereby investors give too little or too much weight to information. As the inefficiencies cycle through phases of expansion and contraction, excess returns may be garnered. The fund is bullish on the U.S. market, with a large position in the

SPDR Trust Series 1


, the exchange-traded fund tracking the

S&P 500


The last two "buy"-rated funds are more conventional equity funds, each holding about 95% stocks, most of which are U.S. companies. The

Nuveen Santa Barbara Dividend Growth Fund


has holdings of




International Business Machines



Yum! Brands


. Large holdings of

Sit Dividend Growth Fund



Johnson & Johnson



Verizon Communications



Procter & Gamble



Research Methodology 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. The funds listed below have reached their three-year anniversary.

Funds rated A or B are considered "buy"-rated, 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."

For more information, check out an

explanation of our ratings

. Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research,

click here now!

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. 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.