Putnam Investments is one of the oldest mutual fund providers in the United States. George Putnam founded the company in 1937. Putnam Investments has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore. At the end of August 2020, the company had $182 billion in assets under management, of which $89 billion were mutual fund assets and $93 billion were institutional assets.
A number of Putnam funds are good candidates for retirement savings, providing investors with income, stability, growth and diversification. How an investor achieves the best portfolio balance depends on their individual needs. A general rule of thumb is for investors approaching retirement to focus on generating income, while investors saving for retirement should focus on achieving growth.
Putnam Equity Income Fund (PEYAX)
This fund focuses on large companies whose stocks are undervalued compared with their long-term potential. The fund's managers look for positive catalysts to unlock that potential. The fund also emphasizes dividend-paying companies that have the ability to consistently grow dividends and return cash to shareholders. Dividends are key, as dividends contribute about 2% to the long-term total return of the S&P 500 Index each year.
The Putnam Equity Income Fund has produced a 7.59% annualized return over the past five years, after sales charges, as of Sept. 30, 2020. Its yield was 1.56% after sales charges as of Oct. 2, 2020. The fund held 87 companies, with Microsoft (MSFT), Walmart (WMT) and Bank of America (BAC) comprising its top three holdings.
George Putnam Balanced Fund (PGEOX)
This namesake fund has offered investors what Putnam calls a "classic balanced portfolio" of stocks and bonds since 1937. It focuses on stocks to help drive returns, while keeping money parked in bonds to help manage volatility. About 60% of the fund's assets are invested in common stock. Corporate debt accounts for 15%, while government bonds account for about 12%.
The George Putnam Balanced Fund has produced a 9.26% annualized return over the past five years, after sales charges, as of Sept. 30, 2020. Its yield was 0.81% after sales charges as of Oct. 2, 2020. Top holdings include Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL), as well as Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes.
Putnam RetirementReady Maturity Fund (PRMAX)
Formerly the Retirement Income Fund Lifestyle 1, the RetirementReady Maturity Fund is designed for investors who are nearing or are already in retirement. The aim of the fund is to provide investors with distributions from their savings while preserving capital. The fund takes a conservative approach and favors assets with historically lower volatility, such as fixed income and absolute return, over equities. The fund holds nearly 75% of its assets in fixed-income investments.
The RetirementReady Maturity Fund has generated a 1.58% annualized return over the past five years, after sales charges, as of Sept. 30, 2020. Its yield was 1.29% after sales charges as of Oct. 2, 2020.