Fund Authority Scores rate mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on the most important economic factors that influence individual investors’ net long term diversified investment fund performance. The Skilled Investor developed the Fund Authority Score system to provide individual investors with concise and objective summaries of mutual funds and ETFs for comparisons within investment asset classes.
For a directory of the Fund Authority Score reports of other mutual funds and ETFs, go here. When you go to this Fund Authority Score directory, you can easily find a list of all fund reports at the bottom of each article for that particular investment asset class. For more information about how a Fund Authority Score is developed for each mutual fund or ETF, go here.
The diversified investment fund strategy of the Income Fund of America mutual fund
At approximately $91 billion in assets with 2.2 million shareholder accounts, the Income Fund of America is a very large actively managed mutual fund. This fund can invest worldwide, however it focuses largely on U.S. equity and debt securities. Recently, 20% of this mutual fund’s portfolio assets were invested in non-U.S. equities and 4% of portfolio assets were invested in non-U.S. bonds.
According to the American Funds mutual fund prospectus for the Income Fund of America, this mutual fund “seeks to provide you with current income and, secondarily, to make your investment grow. It invests primarily in a broad range of income-producing securities, including stocks and bonds. Generally, the fund will invest a substantial portion of its assets in equity-type securities.”
The statement of its investment limitations and guidelines in its recent 497 filing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR system indicates that “under normal circumstances…” the Income Fund of America “…will invest at least 65% of its assets in income-producing securities.” The fund will normally invest 60% or more of portfolio assets in stocks.
Under its investment guidelines, this fund can invest as much as 20% of its portfolio in non-convertible debt instruments that have a Standard & Poor’s Corporation rating of BB or lower or the equivalent ratings by the Moody’s Investors Service.
No more than 25% of the portfolio would normally be invested in the stocks “of issuers domiciled outside the United States and not included in the S&P 500 Composite Index.” Given this relatively low upper limitation for non-U.S. stocks and the fund’s recent 20% weighting in non-U.S. equities, we have classified this mutual fund as a U.S. large capitalization mutual fund rather than as a worldwide stock mutual fund. As much as 10% of the investment portfolio can also be invested in the U.S. dollar denominated debt instruments of non-U.S. issuers.
The Income Fund of America has a variety of share classes which can only be purchased through an advisor or other financial intermediary – not directly.
The Fund Authority Score for the American Funds’ Income Fund of America mutual fund – Class A Shares
The table below presents the Fund Authority Score and other information for the Income Fund of America mutual fund.
Using an integer scale ranging from -10 to +10, Fund Authority Scores measure five factors:
1) annualized management and investment sales expenses (40% weighting),
2) annual trading costs implied by investment fund portfolio turnover (30% weighting),
3) inferior and superior historical performance (20% weighting),
4) minimum fund maturity (5% weighting), and
5) minimum fund size for operating efficiency (5% weighting).
Fund Authority Summary for the American Funds - Income Fund of America - Class A Shares (AMECX)
|Fund Authority Summary||American Funds - Income Fund of America||Fund Authority Score|
|FUND AUTHORITY SCORE (scale of -10 to +10)||2|
|FUND AUTHORITY SCORING COMPONENTS|
|A) Management expenses & sales loads (-4 to +4)|
|-- Annual expense ratio with 12b-1 fees||0.54%|
|-- Front-end sales load with 5 year amortization||1.15%|
|----- Total annual direct costs||1.69%||-2|
|B) Fund portfolio transactions costs (-3 to +3)|
|-- Annual turnover as a trading cost proxy||32%||2|
|C) Penalize very inferior historical performance and credit average and superior historical performance (-2 to +2)|
|-- Total of the 3 year Morningstar + Lipper ratings||7||1|
|D) Is this fund sufficiently mature? (0 or +1)||1|
|E) Very small fund efficiency penalty (-1 or 0)||0|
|INVESTMENT FUND OVERVIEW|
|-- Type of investment fund||mutual fund|
|-- Active versus passive management||actively managed fund|
|-- Total net assets||$90.6 Billion|
|-- Type of investment portfolio securities||stocks (68%) bonds (25%) cash (7%)|
|-- Geographic focus||predominantly U.S. stocks and bonds|
|-- Market capitalization of portfolio securities||large|
|-- Strategy summary||1) current income 2) growth of capital|
|-- Target performance benchmark indexes||1) Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Index 2) Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index 3) Lipper Income Funds Index (per the Prospectus)|
|-- Year of inception||1973|
|-- Trading symbol||AMECX|
|-- Share class evaluated||Class A Shares|
|-- Minimum initial deposit for individual investor||$250|
|TOP 10 SECURITY HOLDINGS||AT&T Inc. (T)|
|General Electric Company (GE)|
|Chevron Corporation (CVX)|
|Verizon Communications (VZ)|
|Citigroup Inc. (C)|
|Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)|
|Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK)|
|Washington Mutual Inc. (WM)|
|Coca-Cola Company (KO)|
|Vodafone Grp (VOD)|
|----- Top 10 Investment Portfolio Holdings (%)||17.08%|
|Fund family website||www.americanfunds.com|
|Customer service telephone number||800-421-0180|
|SEC EDGAR filings and/or fund website accessed||26 November 2007|
– Most mutual funds and ETFs change their fees and trading strategies relatively little over time. Because investment expenses, trading/turnover costs, fund maturity, and operating efficiency account for 80% of the Fund Authority Score rating system, Fund Authority Scores tend to remain relatively stable over time for such consistent investment funds.
– The date in the table above indicates when fund information was accessed from SEC EDGAR filings and/or the fund company website. Normally, data used to develop Fund Authority Scores rely upon reporting periods ending the previous calendar quarter or half year.
– Unless otherwise stated, there are no business arrangements of any kind between The Skilled Investor and any financial product, service, or company that may be discussed in our publication’s articles.
– Fund Authority Scores are developed on a fund by fund basis. Just because a mutual fund or ETF has a high Fund Authority Score does not mean that other funds from that fund family do, as well. On your own, always be careful to check current management expenses, sales loads, portfolio turnover, fund maturity, fund size, fund performance, and other current factors before investing in any diversified investment fund.
– If you do not need and/or are unwilling to pay the direct and indirect costs of an investment counselor, stock broker, or other financial advisory intermediary, you should note that many mutual funds can be purchased directly from diversified investment fund families by accessing their websites or by calling their customer service telephone numbers. Similarly many ETFs can be purchased with lower transactions fees through discount brokers. (See these articles: Payment of Investment Advisors, Financial Planners, and Investment Counselors)
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