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Fund Spy

The Quest for Good No-Load World-Allocation Funds

Pickings are slim, so consider building your own.

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In February, American Funds started a new fund that invests in stocks and bonds all over the world. American Funds Global Balanced (GBLAX) is only the second stock-holding fund that American has launched in the past decade. With American's team-managed approach and low expenses, the new fund will probably be a winner.

For some reason, funds that levy sales charges, as the American funds do, dominate the world-allocation category. The best include  BlackRock Global Allocation (MDLOX), run by Dennis Stattman;  IVA Worldwide (IVWAX), managed by Charles de Vaulx and Chuck Lardemelle; and  First Eagle Global (SGENX), run by Abhay Deshpande and Matthew McLennan.

Slim Pickings
On the no-load side,  Fidelity Global Balanced (FGBLX) has been a decent performer the past three years, during which most of its current managers have been on board. But I'm lukewarm on the fund because it hews closely to the MSCI World Index for its sector and regional exposure. That largely keeps it out of emerging nations and prevents its managers from moving to the markets that offer the best opportunities.

Russel Kinnel has a position in the following securities mentioned above: LSBRX, ARTGX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.