What is an 'Asset Allocation Fund'

An asset allocation fund is a mutual fund that provides investors with a portfolio of a fixed or variable mix of the three main asset classes - stocks, bonds and cash equivalents - in a variety of securities. Some asset allocation funds maintain a specific proportion of asset classes over time, while others vary the proportional composition in response to changes in the economy and investment markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Asset Allocation Fund'

Asset allocation mutual funds come in several varieties. Generally, a "balanced fund" implies a fixed mixed of stocks and bonds, such as 60% stocks and 40% bonds. "Life-cycle" or "target-date" funds, which are often used in retirement plans, usually have a mix of stocks, bonds and cash equivalent securities that starts out with a higher risk-return position and gradually become less risky as the investor ages and/or nears retirement. So-called "life-style," or actively-managed asset-allocation funds provide the active management of a fund's asset classes in response to market conditions.

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