NEW YORK (
) - TheStreet Ratings initiates coverage of 22 open-end stock mutual funds that accrued a sufficient track record of risk and performance data by the end of April 2010. Only three start off with initial grades in the 'buy' range. All three of these are BlackRock Lifecycle funds that with inception dates of April 2007.
The most conservative of the three,
BlackRock Lifecycle Prepared Portfolio 2010
, starts out with a 'buy' level rating of A- and may be appropriate for investors expecting to retire this year. This fund of funds is allocated 44% to the BlackRock Total Return Fund, 11% to the BlackRock Large Cap Core Fund, 11% to the BlackRock Basic Value Fund, 11% to the BlackRock Capital Appreciation Fund, 11% to the BlackRock Global Dynamic Equity Fund, 5% to BlackRock Small Cap Core Fund, and 4% to BlackRock International Opps Fund. Indirect large Cap holdings include
Similar BlackRock funds for retirement in 2015 and 2020 earned initial grades of A- and B+ respectively. Unlike most other funds, these three managed not to lose money over the latest three year period exclusive of sales charges.
Additional volatility in the longer time horizon sandwiched the BlackRock Lifecycle 2025 & 2030 funds into the 'hold' range with grades of C and C-. Meanwhile, the BlackRock Lifecycle 2035, 2040, 2045, and 2050 funds begin at 'sell' as higher percentage holdings of equity securities adversely impacted the funds' total return figures.
-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet 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.