BlackRock Funds Worth a Look

You might consider these pricey funds if you invest through an adviser who waives the extra fees.

Unfortunately, all of BlackRock's mutual funds levy high sales charges. For the Class A shares of its stock funds, for example, you'll pay 5.25%. And although rivals such as Pimco and Eaton Vance now offer both load and no-load versions of their funds, BlackRock has no plans to move in that direction.

However, if you invest through an adviser who waives loads, check out BlackRock Global Allocation A (symbol MDLOX). Veteran manager Dennis Stattman has driven the fund's institutional share class to an annualized return of 10.9% over its 21 years of existence, compared with an average of 8.0% annualized for all global balanced funds. Stattman says his goal is "to find the best investments all over the world, regardless of asset class, geography, economic sector or investment style." He isn't afraid to let the fund stray significantly from its benchmark, a mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Today he is wary of bonds but cautiously optimistic on stocks. The fund recently held stocks, bonds and other securities denominated in more than 30 currencies, a small stake in gold, and 8% in cash.

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Elizabeth Leary
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Elizabeth Leary (née Ody) first joined Kiplinger in 2006 as a reporter, and has held various positions on staff and as a contributor in the years since. Her writing has also appeared in Barron's, BloombergBusinessweek, The Washington Post and other outlets.