Best balanced funds
Balanced funds often called hybrid funds are the category of mutual funds that own both stocks and bonds. These funds seek to maintain a balance between the two-asset classes and are a much-suited investment avenue for intermediate-term investors.
Some of the best-balanced funds are detailed as under:
- HDFC Balanced Fund – The fund has a well-balanced portfolio with equity to debt ratio of 3:1. The fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times and tends to avoid any calls to market movement. The fund seeks to invest in quality businesses that have the ability to deliver growth with a healthy return on equity and comes with quality management and attractive valuation. While the equity allocation is aggressively managed, the debt is equally conservative. Over the years, the fund has generated healthy returns with respect to its benchmark and peers despite having toned down its allocation to the small and mid-cap category to prevent any adverse movement in returns. Overall, when compared with the risk profile, the fund has considerable return payoff and continues to be ranked 1 in the balanced category by CRISIL for the quarter ended December 2017. The fund is also rated five-star by Morningstar and is jointly managed by Chirag Setalvad and Rakesh Vyas.
- Aditya Birla Sun Life Balanced 95 Fund – One of the oldest funds in its category with a track record of beating benchmark in almost all years since inception, this fund has remained one of the favorite funds for investors. With a 70/30 allocation to equity and debt market, the fund positioning remains conservative within equity part with 2/3rd coming from large-cap stocks. The fund manager seeks to adopt a ‘growth at a reasonable price’ strategy for its equity portfolio while for the debt portfolio it seeks to use both duration and accrual strategies to deliver alpha. For the debt portion, the fund primarily invests in instruments with AAA and AA rated instruments. The fund’s strong performance during both bull and bear phases depict consistency which has helped the fund grow its assets under management over the years. The fund is ranked 3 in the balanced category by CRISIL for the quarter ended December 2017 and is rated at four-star by Morningstar. Pranay Sinha, Mahesh Patil, and Dhaval Shah jointly manage the fund.
- ICICI Prudential Balanced Fund – The fund seeks to provide the capital growth from equity market while fetching steady income from debt markets. The fund has historically maintained a higher allocation to equity market at three-fourths of the portfolio while the remainder is invested in debt instruments. While a valuation conscious approach is followed for equities that comprise of primarily large-cap names, the debt portion is seen taking aggressive bets though with the comfortable credit quality of AA category and above. The fund manager seeks to maintain a balanced portfolio as reflected in beta nearly 1 thus preventing the portfolio from any adverse movement during periods of volatility. The scheme is ranked 2 in the balanced category by CRISIL for the quarter ended December 2017 and is rated at four-star by Morningstar. Atul Patel and Sankaran Naren manage the equity portfolio jointly; the debt portfolio falls under the purview of Manish Banthia since September 2013.