Leo Acheson: JPMorgan Global Allocation is on our radar because it's run by an experienced management team with a strong track record running asset-allocation strategies. Jeff Geller, who is CIO of JPMorgan's more than 100-person multiasset solutions team, is the lead manager. He oversees various strategies at the firm, including its SmartRetirement target-date series, which receives a Silver Morningstar Analyst Rating, and won Morningstar's 2014 Allocation Fund Manager of the Year award. The team's deep resources and robust asset-allocation process bode well for the fund.
With very broad allocation ranges and a focus on capital appreciation, JPMorgan Global Allocation represents the firm's best thinking across asset classes and regions. Stocks and bonds can each take anywhere from 10% to 90% of assets, and cash can grow to 80%. To keep risk in check, the managers aim to roughly match the volatility of a 60-40 MSCI World-Barclays Aggregate Bond Index.
During the last five years, the fund has returned about 5% annualized, which is more than double the return earned by the typical world-allocation competitor. Loading up on high-yield bonds in late 2011, maintaining a high allocation to U.S. equities in 2013 and 2014, and avoiding commodities throughout 2015 have all boosted results.
Investors can access the fund for a good price; all of its share classes charge low or below-average fees versus similarly sold competitors. Given the fund's attractive fees, along with its experienced management team, and solid track record, we think it should be on the radar of investors who are seeking a flexible asset allocation strategy.