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Hybrid funds -- those that combine stock and fixed-income investments -- performed relatively well during a turbulent quarter because of their conservative nature.

We cover five different categories of hybrid funds: Balanced - Domestic, Balanced - Global, Asset Allocation - Domestic, Asset Allocation - Global and Convertible. Balanced funds tend to maintain a specific percentage of investment assets in stocks and bonds, while managers of asset allocation funds vary weightings over time.

For the first quarter of 2008, the best performing hybrid fund is the A+ rated

Permanent Portfolio Fund

(PRPFX) - Get Permanent Portfolio Report

. This fund returned 3.83% in the three months ended March 31.

The fund attempts to preserve and increase long-term purchasing power, with a targeted portfolio structure of 20% gold bullion and coins, 5% silver, 10% Swiss Franc assets and 15% global real estate and natural resource stocks. It expects to gain from continued inflation while the remaining 35% in U.S. Treasuries provides balance.

In second place, gaining 3.30% for the quarter, is the A+ rated

PIMCO All Asset All Authority A

(PAUAX) - Get PIMCO All Asset All Authority Report

. This fund of PIMCO funds has a 3.75% front load and 2% back load.

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Third place belongs to

AIM Core Allocation Portfolio C

(CCAPX) - Get FS Chiron Capital Allocation Fund Class I Report

returning 3.12% so far this year. This fund is unrated, as it has not yet reached its third birthday. New investments in this institutional fund are possible for large investors through

Merrill Lynch



On March 31, AIM Investments became Invesco Aim. Plus, the fund shareholders voted to allow the termination of the portfolio or share class without additional shareholder approval.

Source: Ratings. For an explanation of our ratings,

click here.

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.