With so many mutual funds to choose from, investors can have a hard time identifying those few funds that deserve their investment dollars. Many folks tend to gravitate to the big-name fund shops, figuring if the fund is run by one of the more popular fund companies, it must be OK.
But that isn't always the case. Even great fund families can have funds that you might not want to own. So to help in your search, I've examined a handful of solid funds from fund giant T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price Personal Growth Fund (TRSGX)
The T. Rowe Price Personal Growth Fund invests in a mix of stocks and bonds, although it is more heavily weighted to stocks. The fund is currently 80% invested in equities, which is about where the fund's equity allocation has been throughout its 13-year history. Personal Growth Fund is headed up by Edmund Notzon, who has been at the helm for almost nine years. Notzon leads a committee that adjusts the fund's exposure among the various asset classes based on valuations and top-down macroeconomic analysis. The actual task of picking stocks is delegated to other T. Rowe portfolio managers.
In recent years, this fund has leaned more heavily into growth stocks, including current top holdings Microsoft
T. Rowe Price Personal Growth has performed admirably, and has beaten the S&P 500 Index in six of the past 10 years. This is especially impressive, considering the fund has roughly one-fifth of its assets in fixed income. The fund lagged most notably during the more speculative years of the late 1990s, but that's to be expected, given the fund's asset allocation. The fund's 10-year annualized return (through August) of 8.7% places it in the top 11% of large-cap blend funds. If you are looking for an equity-oriented balanced fund that won't leave you stranded during rough market environments, you may want to get to know this fund.
T. Rowe Price Spectrum Growth Fund (PRSGX)
This T. Rowe Price fund is very similar to the Personal Growth fund. It too is run by Notzon and invests in both growth and value stocks across the market capitalization spectrum and around the globe. However, Spectrum Growth is a fund of funds, and its holdings currently consist of nine other T. Rowe funds, including its Growth Stock (PRGFX), Value (TRVLX), and International Stock (PRITX) funds. Notzon and his team adjust the allocation to these equity funds based on their assessment of the greatest opportunities for value.
Spectrum Growth Fund currently devotes about 70% of the portfolio to large-cap names, and about 25% to foreign stocks. Expenses are a reasonable 0.81%, and sector concentrations are generally not an issue here.
The fund boasts a solid, if unspectacular, performance track record. This all-equity fund has beaten the S&P 500 Index every year since 1999, and it's posted a 10-year annualized return (through August) of 8.4%, compared to 6.8% for the S&P 500. Although the fund lost money during the bear market of 2000-2002, it lost quite a bit less than both the S&P 500 and the average large-cap blend stock fund during that time. Like most T. Rowe funds, Spectrum Growth won't deliver off-the-charts returns, but it's also unlikely to lag the market for sustained periods of time.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we take a look at some more top funds from T. Rowe Price.
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