Although the SEC recently passed a
rule requiring mutual funds to invest 80% of their assets in those securities suggested by their names -- an increase from the 65% limit that was previously required -- you should still take a good look under a fund's hood to make sure the managers are investing in what they say they are.
For example, while many balanced funds strive for steady returns by investing in a mix of stocks and bonds, some balanced funds are more aggressive than others. How can you check? Most funds post their most recent holdings (which are usually a few months old) on their Web sites. You can also check out fund tracker
Morningstar's site to see a fund's most recent holdings.