NEW YORK (
) -- TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage of 16 bond mutual funds that accrued a three-year track record by the end of October. Two received our second-highest rating of "good."
At B-plus, the
AARP Income Fund
seeks current income and preservation of capital for investors who want to receive a monthly stream of income. Over the past 12 months, the fund has yielded 3.34% as part of rewarding shareholders with a 13% total return.
The fund attempts to mirror the performance of the Barclays U.S. Capital Aggregate Bond Index before expenses. The index charts the combined path of all taxable investment-grade bonds traded in the U.S., including corporate, government, agency, mortgages and other asset-backed securities. Ninety-five percent of the fund is invested in a portfolio of U.S. Treasury notes and agency debt, with just 2.5% in
SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF
and the remainder in a money market portfolio.
The only other newly rated bond fund in the "buy" range, with a rating of B, is the
Calvert Ultra-Short Income Fund
. The fund seeks to preserve capital and generate income from a fixed-income portfolio of floating-rate securities with an average duration of less than one year. The fund has averaged a return of 5.2% over the past three years and 7.5% over 12 months.
Fidelity Advisor Government Income Fund
BlackRock Short-Term Municipal Fund
scored initial ratings at the top end of the "hold" range with grades of C-plus, making them funds to watch in the coming months.
TheStreet.com Ratings condenses available fund performance and risk data into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows for the unbiased identification of funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market. While there is no guarantee of future performance, the investment ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions.
Funds rated A or B are considered "buys" 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 are "sells."
For more information, check out an
Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, 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.