When you don't know which way the wind is blowing on Wall Street, why not go with the flow that flexible funds afford? Flexible funds have the unique ability to invest their assets anywhere they please among the asset classes. Unlike stock or bond or balanced funds, where prospectuses mandate how much can be invested in a given asset class, portfolio managers on these versatile funds have free reign over where and how they invest the shareholders' dollars.
Jim Floyd is one of three portfolio managers on the Leuthold Core Investment Fund (LCORX), one of Lipper's top-performing flexible funds. While the fund is a little pricey-the minimum investment is $10,000 for individual accounts-Floyd says there's a reason for that. "We're looking for an investor who's a little bit more sophisticated, because our fund is different than most. It's not a specific sector fund or a specific growth or value fund. We can own stocks, bonds, real estate, or most anything that we think has a good risk/reward profile."
As of September 25, the fund was up over 29 percent for the year and had about 70 percent of its assets invested in stocks and 30 percent in bonds. This is a quant fund, meaning it's not a team of investment pros selecting stocks for its portfolio, but a computer-driven model. So don't expect the portfolio to stay fixed or to always out-perform the market.
Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing site www.fundfreebies.com.