Retirees looking for dependable income during their golden years can no longer rely on money market funds and certificates of deposit (CDs) since the interest rate is too low to make them a viable primary savings instrument for retirement. Instead, a key to combating increasing costs of living is smart diversification of funds. Transamerica offers a relatively slim lineup of only 133 funds as of 2018, but these five funds can create a well-diversified nest egg that will last you throughout retirement.
Transamerica Enhanced Muni Fund (TAMUX)
This bond fund provides tax-free income from municipal government bonds across the United States. The average maturity of the bonds is 6.91 years, while the average duration is 5.82 years. The credit quality is predominantly AA (61%) followed by A (11%). Morningstar has granted this fund four stars despite an above-average expense ratio of 0.68%. Since its inception on Oct. 31, 2012, the fund has consistently outperformed Barclays Municipal TR.
Transamerica Dividend Focused Fund (TDFAX)
This fund maintains a smaller number of holdings (35 to 45) in the mid- to large-cap span that can show a dividend history of at least 25 years. The goal is to provide total returns through a combination of dividend yield, dividend growth and capital appreciation. The largest sectors are financials, health care and industrials; most of the holdings are domestic, but about 7% are foreign. As a long-term component of a retirement portfolio, it provides relatively stable income at modest risk. The fund expense ratio is 1.01%, and its Morningstar rating is three stars.
Transamerica Large Cap Value Fund (TWQAX)
The Transamerica Large Cap Value Fund may look similar to the Dividend Focused Fund at first glance, with a small number of predominantly domestic stocks in the large-cap space, but the holdings are significantly different. This fund focuses on value rather than dividends, making it a suitable minority portfolio component for overall capital preservation and growth. The largest sectors are financials, health care, and consumer staples, with almost exclusively domestic holdings. The expense ratio is 1.06% with no load fees. Morningstar gives this fund four stars.
Transamerica High Yield Bond Fund (IHIYX)
This bond fund carries significant risk, but it also provides superior returns compared to safer options. The net asset value (NAV) price history speaks loud and clear – some years, like 2009, which saw a whopping gain of 56.42%, or 2016, which saw 14.15% growth, will make any investors smile. Other years, like 2008, during which the fund suffered a drop of -25.28%, or 2016, which saw a -4.66% NAV loss, can be difficult. This four-star-rated fund can do wonders toward boosting overall income so long as the portfolio can endure future drops. The fund has a 30-day SEC yield of 5.10% and boasts a 7.83% annual average return since its inception on June 14, 1985. The holdings are over 95% high-yield junk bonds rated BB, BBB or lower. The average maturity is 6.09 years, and the average duration is 3.77 years. The expense ratio is 1.04%.
Transamerica Emerging Markets Debt Fund (EMTAX)
Putting a small portion of a nest egg in emerging market debt carries certain risks, but thanks to the global scope, there is limited exposure to any one region. This fund has about 60% in foreign governments with Argentina (9.29%), Mexico (7.73%) and South Africa (5.74%) being the top three government holdings. The remaining debt is spread across multiple sectors in different countries, with financials, energy and telecommunications being the top sectors. The average maturity is 9.62 years, and the average duration is 4.8 years. The credit quality has a significant spread with 2.39% at AAA, 10.93% at A, 21.79% at BBB and the rest at BB or below. The expense ratio is 1.12%.