June 3, 2023

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Balanced funds: The goal is both capital appreciation and income

3 min read
The Best Balanced Funds for Long-Term Investors

What are balanced funds?

There are various mutual funds, and the balanced fund is one of them. It is a mutual fund comprised of stocks and bonds. Investors can buy this basket of securities. Balanced funds usually have a constant asset allocation for stocks and bonds. For example, 60% may go to stocks while the remaining 40% can be for bonds. Investments will always have different objectives depending on their type. But what is it for balanced funds? It is the combination of growth and income. Hence, it was named as such because it might as well end up with the fund’s balanced nature. They are ideal for an investor who wants safety, modest capital appreciation, and income combined.

A balanced fund is a hybrid fund.

In biology, a hybrid refers to the offspring of a plant or an animal from two different species or varieties. For example, a mule is an offspring of a donkey and a horse. Somehow, this logic is also true with hybrid funds. A balanced fund is a hybrid because it is characterized by diversification among multiple asset classes. The amount invested into each asset class must stay within a set maximum and minimum value.

Balanced funds are also referred to as asset allocation funds. They do not materially change their asset mix, unlike life cycle funds. They are also different from managed funds that evolve when investors change their risk-return appetite or even their entire market conditions.

Balanced funds can be ideal for risk-averse investors who want healthy growth and supplemental income. Let us talk more about the main elements of balanced funds in detail.

First, we have the equity or stock component.

The equity component combats the decline of purchasing power. It ensures the long-term preservation of retirement nest eggs. A balanced fund’s equity holding relies on massive equities like those found in the S&P 500 index. It has 500 of the most significant publicly traded US companies. Balanced funds may also include Dividend-paying companies. Companies pay dividends which are cash payments to their shareholders because they own stocks. Companies that regularly pay dividends for a long time may be deemed as established and profitable.

Next, we have the bond component. 

A balanced fund’s bond component has two uses. It makes an income stream, and it tempers portfolio volatility simultaneously. Volatility refers to the price fluctuations due to the equity component. We have investment-grade bonds that give interest using semiannual payments. Some massive company stocks give out quarterly dividend payouts for better yield. Instead of reinvesting distributions, many retirees opt to receive cash to get their income from pensions, government subsidies, or personal savings.

It is rare for highly graded bonds and treasuries to experience significant swings, unlike stocks. This stability protects balanced mutual funds from having dramatic changes in the share price. It is unlikely for debt security prices to move in lockstep with stocks. Hence, balanced funds are stable, and the investment returns only get more defined in the long run.

A recap

Balanced funds invest money throughout asset classes. It includes a mixture of low- and medium-risk stocks and bonds. The goal is to invest in income and capital appreciation. Balanced funds are flexible because even risk-averse retirees can benefit from them. They offer capital appreciation and income at the same time. 

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