Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

    Support MFO

  • Donate through PayPal

Looking for World Alloc. fund

edited August 2013 in Fund Discussions

I have been looking for a lower risk Global Balanced fund and came across two that look interesting; I would appreciate any thoughts, ideas suggestions and/or recommendations!!

It will be in a taxable account and my time horizon is about 5 to 7 years. I would also prefer an NTF but am open to a Transaction Fee fund if it truly is worth the cost.

1) MBAAX/MPBAX - Morgan Stanley Instl Global Strategist (It is Load-Waived at Fidelity)

I found VERY little discussion on this fund. But what I have found looks decent and promising.

Metrics look pretty good as does its returns and risk/reward profile, SD and tax efficiency. Its composition seems to be a good mix of non-us and us stocks and bonds for the current and future environment (i.e. going forward).

I found two areas of concern:

a) The Gross ER of 1.64, but the Net ER is .99, which is fairly good for the category

b) There was also a management change beginning in 2011 but it appears to have been very positive: in 2011 and 2012 the fund ranked in the top 10% and YTD (2013) top 19%. This seems to be pretty good for a relatively lower risk global alloc MF.

2) PQIDX/PQIIX - PIMCO Dividend and Income Builder

A relatively new fund, began in 2012, so there's not much data to look at or review, although there is some discussion.

Also seems to have a good mix of non-us and us stocks and bonds for the current and future environment. It appears to be a little less tax efficient and slightly more volatile though. That's about all of the tangible info I have on this fund.

To sum up, I'm not looking for the highest returning MF in the category. I am looking for a lower risk global alloc fund with solid returns and risk/reward profile, not bloated AUM, reasonable ER, etc.

Does MBAAX/MPBAX and/or PQIDX/PQIIX fit this profile or are there better funds out there? Again, any and all thoughts, ideas, suggestions, recommendations are welcome!!

Thank you for your time and assistance!!



  • edited August 2013
    AQRNX !!!

    Just kidding;-)

    Besides above, I own GLBLX and WASYX in my IRA. And then I have another small IRA entirely made up with PAUDX and PGMDX.

    "World Allocation" funds are all over the place. Don't trust M*.
  • There are a number of good managers/teams in this group of funds.
    These funds are true global allocation, in that they allow management a lot of flexibility in what and how they invest:

    These funds are less flexible, but still usually have a mix of large cap domestic and foreign stocks and bonds, but usually not much if any in foreign bonds:
  • I would be inclined to forget a Global Balanced fund at this time and consider an equity income fund that has both U.S. and foreign holdings. For the global bond position, use a global bond fund managed by Templeton's, Hasenstab like TPINX (load waived)
  • From Bob's list, MALOX (a hilarious ticker, by the way): MDLOX, the same fund in A shares, is one of those Fidelity's now offering NTF and load-waived.

    In the ETF world, GAL is the only actively managed global allocation fund I know of that's really worth a look. It's a frequently adjusted ETF of (mostly) SPDR ETFs with a usually heavy foreign component.
  • More examples

  • Check out is a decent site too to check out various statistics on a fund

    Good luck!
  • Reply to @lord_nelson: For me, global allocation means a lot of slack for the managers to decide whether to use stocks or bonds, domestic or foreign, cash, gold, etc. MFS and American from the list are certainly NOT that kind of operation. On the other hand, PAUIX, IVAEX, FPACX, MALOX, and TIBIX have some or a lot of manager flexibility to go anywhere. As another poster said, there may be times when the manager wants to be OUT of bonds, or only have a small amount committed to one asset class.
  • edited August 2013
    TIBIX old managers are now at PQDIX I think. TIBIX was another fund M* used to drool over until the financial crisis. Yet another fund that gave the illusion it was less risky than it was. Not sure about current management of TIBIX. PQDIX I'm certainly not interested in.

    I worry about some funds that have had such outsize returns beyond the financial crisis, but whose names indicate they are more sedate than go-go growth funds. Sounds too good to be true.
  • I'm biased because I hold TIBIX heavily but it has performed above my expectations and does exactly what the prospectus says that it's going to do. It is a true to form, worldwide, income builder fund.

    VF - not all of the managers left the fund for the Pimco offering.
  • Reply to @VintageFreak: I have been reducing my positions in TIBIX. Since March the price has not gained, only the dividend reinvested has resulted in the gain and I think that is at risk for a lesser yield.
  • edited August 2013
    Thanks everyone for your insights, suggestions and time!!

    Vintage Freask, you make a great point about M* and Global Alloc funds; I will heed your advice!! I still have some work to do!!

    I do have a couple of follow-up questions. I noticed that several people and M* seem to like MALOX; it seems like a decent fund, but others seems better. What am I missing?

    Also, PAUIX seems be a popular suggestion, but it sure seems to be struggling in the current econmic environment; rising rates, etcetera. Again, what am I not seeing?

    Lastly, no one mentioned anything about MBAAX/MPBAX. Am I to assume it's a complete no-go?? If so, what is it that you don't like?

    Thank you all again!!!!

  • Reply to @mcmarasco: I basically don't look at certain fund companies because No load shares are not available. I have been corrected in past some of us have access to institutional share classes without load. Just saying one reason, people may not be able to offer insight on certain funds. After all, we are all so passionate about our holdings which we change to "research" more than those we do not hold:)
  • Point well taken VintageFreak! Thank you!

    I tend to mostly invest in NTF funds myself, but just recently Fidelity has allowed the retail investor to participate in LOAD_WAIVED funds, of which MBAAX is one. I never heard of it until I researched these LW funds. It caught my attention because of its relatively solid returns and risk/reward profile.
  • Just a little speculation on the responses (or lack thereof) regarding the load fund families Blackrock and Morgan Stanley ...

    MALOX (like others, I've always found that ticker memorable) had a great record if one skips the past five years. That, plus the fact that there were few funds in the world allocation category (and none or close to none that were good and noload back then) explains some of the attention it retains. It's still a good fund (as you noted). Beyond that, I'd have to take a closer look to see why its performance has regressed (M* rates the fund's risk as average over the past three years as opposed to below average going further back, and its three year performance as average, as opposed to above average in earlier years).

    There have been some back doors to Blackrock funds before the recent wave of, well, waivers. (For example, buying institutional class shares, TF, via brokers.) Getting into MS funds has been more problematic - at least that's my impression. Given that people tend to turn their noses down at load funds, and the fact that there didn't seem to be a way around that load, it's not surprising that people (including myself) aren't up on MS funds. The only thing that stands out (to me) on a very cursory look is a 168% turnover.

  • I had looked into MALOX and WASYX and chose WASYX over it for my IRA. WASYX available nTF
  • American funds CAIBX and CWGFX are world allocation and essentially world equity income. Load funds to be sure but below avg E.R and in line performance. In general...why are all the good world allocation funds load? First Eagle's world allo fund has been a long time superior performer. BTW Fidelity has MALOX load waived.
  • msf
    edited August 2013
    Minor points:

    First Eagle Global Income Builder, Class A, FEBAX, is available NTF (and load-waived) at Schwab. It's only been around for 15 months, so I have a hard time viewing it as a "long term" superior performer. (Its 1 year performance is barely top third - good, but not long enough or great enough to be raving about yet, IMHO.)

    MALOX shares are institutional class - never any load, and (at least at Fidelity) a high min to get in ($2M, even for IRAs). Fidelity does offer the more expensive A class shares (MDLOX) load-waived (and NTF). Even with the extra 0.25% 12b-1 fee added into the A shares, as well as its slightly higher "other fees" (0.15% vs. 0.12% for MALOX), the load-waived A shares charge a still reasonable 1.07% (annual report figure), vs. 0.79% for MALOX.

Sign In or Register to comment.