4 Newly Rated Stock Mutual Funds to Buy

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- TheStreet.com Ratings initiated coverage of 26 stock mutual funds that accrued a sufficient track record of risk and performance data by the end of July 2011. Four of these newly rated mutual funds earned initial grades in the 'buy' range, plus 10 funds at "hold" and 12 funds at "sell."

Of the newly rated funds, none ranks higher than USAA Target Retirement Income Fund ( URINX) with an initial rating of A+, or Excellent. The fund has an inception date of Jul. 31, 2008. This is the most conservative of the five USAA Target Retirement funds with initial ratings this month.

The USAA Target Retirement Income Fund has generated an average return of 7.7% over the last three years and 10.7% in the last year. This fund's investment objective is to provide capital appreciation and current income consistent with its current investment allocation. The fund attempts to achieve its objective by investing in a diversified portfolio of underlying USAA mutual funds according to an asset allocation strategy targeting 30% stocks and 70% bonds & cash. This fund is designed for investors planning to start withdrawing income for spending in retirement now or very soon.

USAA Target Retirement 2020 Fund ( URTNX) also starts out on top with a grade of A+ targeting a mix of 40% stock and 60% bonds & cash. Likewise, USAA Target Retirement 2030 Fund ( URTRX) has an initial grade of A+ targeting the opposite mix with 60% stock, 40% bonds and cash. Retirement dates projected further into the future increase stock exposure, potential gain and commensurate risk.

The only other stock mutual fund with an initial rating in the 'buy' range, Leuthold Global Fund ( GLBLX), earned a grade of B+ averaging a return of 6.5% in three years and 20% in the last year. The fund seeks capital appreciation and income or total return in amounts attainable by assuming prudent amounts of investment risk over the long term. The fund seeks to allocate its investments among common stocks, bonds, and money market instruments.

According to its most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, U.S. stocks held include Southwest Airlines ( LUV), Honda Motor Co ( HMC), du Pont ( DD), Dow Chemical ( DOW), Annaly Capital Management ( NLY), and AutoNation ( AN). The fund also bets against various stocks with short positions on Charles Schwab ( SCHW), Celgene ( CELG), Hillenbrand ( HI), Colgate Palmolive ( CL), Kimberly-Clark ( KMB), and Procter & Gamble ( PG). The fund also held as much as 7,778 troy ounces of physical gold and 140,000 troy ounces silver at year end.

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. In order to qualify for a rating, an open-end fund must either have three years of risk and return data or be an additional share class of an existing fund with at least three years of performance statistics.

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."

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

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Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. 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.