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.

The Managers AMG FQ Global Alternatives Fund ( MGAAX) and TIAA-CREF Managed Allocation Fund ( TITRX) 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 TheStreet.com 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.

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 ( SPY), the exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500 index.

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 ( NSBAX) has holdings of Coca-Cola ( KO), International Business Machines ( IBM) and Yum! Brands ( YUM). Large holdings of Sit Dividend Growth Fund ( SDVSX) include Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Verizon Communications ( VZ) and Procter & Gamble ( PG).

Research Methodology

TheStreet.com 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.

Newly Rated Stock Mutual Funds
Fund (Ticker)
Initial Rating
Reward Grade Risk Grade Objective
Managers AMG Funds - FQ Global Alternatives Fund (MGAAX) A A+ B Non-US Equity
TIAA-CREF Managed Allocation Fund (TITRX) B+ B+ B- Asset Allocation - Domestic
Nuveen Santa Barbara Dividend Growth Fund (NSBAX) B+ B C+ Growth & Income
Sit Dividend Growth Fund (SDVSX) B B C+ Growth & Income
AIM China Fund (AACFX) C+ A+ D- Non-US Equity
Schroder U.S. Small and Mid Cap Opportunities Fund (SMDVX) C+ B D+ Mid Cap
Nuveen Tradewinds Global All Cap Fund (NWGAX) C+ A D- Global Equity
Madison Institutional Equity Option Fund (MADOX) C+ B- D+ Growth & Income
ProFunds Ultra Short Japan ProFund (UKPIX) C A+ E- Non-US Equity
Allianz RCM Strategic Growth Fund (ARCAX) C B- D+ Growth - Domestic
Schroder Emerging Market Equity Fund (SEMVX) C B D- Emerging Market Equity
Schroder North American Equity Fund (SNAVX) C C C- Global Equity
TIAA-CREF Institutional Large-Cap Growth Fund (TILRX) C B- D Growth - Domestic
Nuveen Santa Barbara Growth Fund (NSAGX) C C- C Mid Cap
AIM Structured Core Fund (SCAUX) C- C C- Growth - Domestic
Managers AMG Funds - FQ US Equity Fund (FQUAX) C- C- C- Growth - Domestic
TIAA-CREF Institutional Equity Index Fund (TINRX) C- C D+ Growth - Domestic
AIM Structured Value Fund (ASAVX) C- C- C- Growth - Domestic
AIM Structured Growth Fund (AASGX) C- C D+ Growth - Domestic
Artisan Opportunistic Value Fund (ARTLX) C- C D+ Growth - Domestic
MassMutual Select Core Opportunities Fund (MMTAX) C- C D Growth - Domestic
TFS Small Cap Fund (TFSSX) D+ C+ E- Small Cap
Managers AMG Funds - FQ Tax Managed US Equity Fund (MFQAX) D D+ C- Growth - Domestic
Waddell & Reed Advisors Energy Fund (WEGAX) D C E- Sector - Energy/Natural Res
Nuveen Santa Barbara Growth Opportunities Fund (NSOAX) E+ D- D Growth - Domestic
Guinness Atkinson Funds - Asia Pacific Dividend Fund (GAADX) E+ C- E- Non-US Equity
Transamerica Multi-Manager International Fund (IMNAX) E+ D+ E Non-US Equity
American Beacon Small Cap Value Opportunity Fund (ASOPX) E E+ D Small Cap
AIM Japan Fund (AJFAX) E E- D+ Non-US Equity
UBS US Mid Cap Growth Equity Fund (BMDAX) E D E Mid Cap
Touchstone Large-Cap Value Fund (TLCAX) E- E- D- Growth - Domestic
MassMutual Select Small Cap Value Equity Fund (MMQAX) E- E E- Small Cap
Guinness Atkinson Funds - Alternative Energy Fund (GAAEX) E- E- E- Sector - Energy/Natural Res
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings & Bloomberg

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.

TheStreet.com 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 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.

If you liked this article you might like

Blackstone Group's Byron Wien: Investors Need Complacency Beaten Out of Them

Blackstone Group's Byron Wien: Investors Need Complacency Beaten Out of Them

This Is the Perfect Time to Buy Dividend Stocks

This Is the Perfect Time to Buy Dividend Stocks

Kraft Heinz Wants to Save Itself, And Here Are 3 Ways How It Could

Kraft Heinz Wants to Save Itself, And Here Are 3 Ways How It Could

Coca-Cola CEO: Here's How We Are Thinking About Acquisitions

Coca-Cola CEO: Here's How We Are Thinking About Acquisitions

Week in Review: Stock Market Stages Bold Comeback In Spite of Rising Bond Yields

Week in Review: Stock Market Stages Bold Comeback In Spite of Rising Bond Yields