Total returns generated from a portfolio of equities and fixed-income investments can maintain purchasing power over the long term while preserving capital. These five mutual funds from the T. Rowe Price Group Inc. are particularly suited to building a total return investment portfolio that can generate a good withdrawal rate.

T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth Fund

Stocks with increasing dividends can deliver the best combination of income and growth. They can also add portfolio stability during periods of big market fluctuations. The T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth fund invests in companies with long histories of increasing dividends. Among its 111 holdings are companies like Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. For an actively managed fund, its expense ratio of 0.64% is very reasonable.

T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income Fund

The T. Rowe Price Personal Strategy Income Fund is the epitome of total return funds. It is categorized as a conservative allocation fund because of its emphasis on fixed-income investments over stocks, currently at a 40/60 weighting. The fund can change the allocation based on changing circumstances, but the allocation range for fixed income will never exceed 50 to 70%. The fund can also invest in foreign securities whenever it identifies special opportunities. On the fixed-income side, it invests primarily in investment-grade bonds; on the equity side, it is weighted toward well-established large-cap companies such as Microsoft and Its expense ratio as of October 2018 is 0.62%.

T. Rowe Price Real Estate Fund

For optimal diversification, an income portfolio should contain an allocation of real estate. The T. Row Price Real Estate Fund provides the real estate exposure a portfolio needs, but with the liquidity many conservative investors want. A minimum of 80% of its assets are invested in equity securities, including a significant portion in equity real estate investment trusts (REITs), which generate high dividend yields. Its 0.73% expense ratio is considered average for its category. (For related reading, see: How to Assess a Real Estate Investment Trust.)

T. Rowe Price Balanced Fund

The T. Rowe Price Balanced Fund is a more moderate allocation of 65% stocks and 35% fixed-income securities. It can also invest in foreign securities for greater diversification. The fund managers have the discretion to invest in growth and value stocks, and stocks of all market capitalizations. Generally, they will go anywhere to achieve the best mix of investments for generating steady growth and current income while preserving capital. Its expense ratio of 0.61% is fairly reasonable for an actively managed fund.

T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund

A small slice of the T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund could be ideal for investors who are willing to assume a little more risk for a boost in yield. The bonds of emerging countries can yield much more than bonds from developed countries. Some of its holdings include corporate and government bonds from Russia, Brazil and Turkey, which can be higher risk, but the fund attempts to maintain an average double-B credit rating for its portfolio. The 2018 TTM yield is 5.22%, which may be good for moderate investors. This fund should only represent a small portion of a portfolio, and its expense ratio is a bit high at 0.93%.

Successful investing is all about balancing risk and reward, and these T. Rowe Price funds can provide enough diversification to achieve this balance. (For related reading, see: T. Rowe Price Review 2018.)

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