Investors looking for increased diversification of their retirement savings assets can find a solution using mutual funds from Eaton Vance Corporation (NYSE: EV), a 92-year-old investment management firm. Eaton Vance and its subsidiaries have $311.4 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of November 2015. Within the Eaton Vance mutual fund family of over 90 funds, which cover the full range of asset classes and investment objectives, there are five funds that are particularly well-suited to the needs of investors looking to diversify their retirement plans. All returns are based on the funds' Class A shares at net asset value (NAV).
Eaton Vance Balanced Fund
The Eaton Vance Balanced Fund provides diversity through a professionally managed portfolio of bonds and stocks in one fund. The fund suits the needs of investors who want the current income provided by bonds and appreciation of capital. It divides assets between a mix of 25 to 50 percent in fixed income securities and 50 to 75 percent in equity securities. The fund primarily invests in U.S. securities but may also invest a portion of its net assets in international securities. The portfolio is biased toward large-cap stocks and investment-grade or government bonds.
The Balanced Fund gives investors the advantages of widespread diversity while providing a solid return. The fund has a Morningstar rating of five stars. Its annualized total return is 11.51 percent over three years and 10.1 percent over five years. The fund has a current yield of 0.92 percent.
Eaton Vance Dividend Builder Fund
The Eaton Vance Dividend Builder Fund specializes in large-cap dividend-paying stocks that are reasonably priced and have the potential to increase dividends over time. Its assets are primarily in U.S. securities, but the fund may invest up to 35% of available assets for securities. The fund is not restricted to dividend-paying common stock. It may also invest in securities that include preferred stock or bonds that are convertible into the common stock.
The Dividend Builder Fund pays monthly distributions and has a current yield of 1.59%. The fund has an annualized total return of 12.97 percent over three years and 10.59 percent over five years.
Eaton Vance Large-Cap Value Fund
The Eaton Vance Large-Cap Value Fund, founded in 1931, is one of the oldest mutual funds in the U.S. The fund's objective is to find large-cap companies with leading market share that have solid financials and attractive growth potential, yet are undervalued. It may invest in growth stocks that do not pay dividends but the majority of its portfolio is made up of dividend-paying securities.
The fund has a current yield of 1.29 percent. It has provided investors with an annualized total return of 13.56 percent over three years and 11.43 percent over five years.
Eaton Vance Real Estate Fund
Real estate investing is a traditional way to seek current income and steady growth. The Eaton Vance Real Estate Fund provides extra diversity and a hedge against future inflation by investing in high-quality securities of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and companies in the real estate industry. This strategy provides the potential for a higher total return by combining current income with capital growth. The fund seeks geographical diversity in his portfolio and may invest up to 25 percent of its assets in foreign securities. The fund has annualized total returns of 12.07 percent over five years and yields 1.61 percent.
Eaton Vance Growth Fund
Every well-diversified retirement portfolio needs a growth component. The Eaton Vance Growth Fund seeks well-valued growth companies with market capitalizations within the range of the Russell 1000 Index, but it can invest in firms that are not in the index. Fund managers are concerned primarily with long-term growth prospects, and any income or dividends are given secondary consideration. The fund has a Morningstar rating of four stars. It has annualized total returns of 18.71 percent over three years and 13.48 percent over five years.
The Bottom Line
These five funds can be used to create a very well-diversified and conservative retirement savings portfolio. All of the funds' Class A shares have front-end loads, which reduce their initial returns.
Investors wishing to avoid sales charges should look at large mutual fund superstores such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity investments, which offer many mutual funds with the sales loads waived. Investors can receive the Class A shares at NAV and pay lower expense fees than what other classes of shares charge.