Best Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes (Equity Oriented) | Review

Are you working hard to keep everything in your life BALANCED? I am sure, who does not want to lead a balanced life.. Staying balanced in the midst of your life is a true feat.

A well balanced life is very much essential for personal effectiveness, peace of mind and living well.  We all would like to maintain a balance between professional and personal life. Both are equally important to lead a successful, happy and healthier life. We need to have a right and well-balanced diet to be healthy and fit.

Investing in Balanced Mutual Funds is not much different. Balanced funds are also known as Hybrid Mutual Funds. Personally I prefer investing in balanced funds to achieve my medium and long-term goals. I am a strong advocate of Balanced Funds. (Read My Mutual Fund Portfolio)

Whether you are a new or an experienced investor, investing in balanced funds can be fruitful. They can give you Diversified Equity funds like Returns but with a lower risk profile.

Last year in the month of June (2016), I had published an article on ‘ Best Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes ’. One year gone by, so let’s review the performance of these top performing balanced funds and let’s have a look at the new list. But, before that, let’s discuss on the basics of Balanced Funds.

What are Balanced (or) Hybrid Mutual Funds?

Mutual funds are broadly classified as either Equity or Debt,based on where the funds are invested.

  • Equity funds primarily invest in stocks/shares.
  • Debt funds primarily invest in Bonds, Government securities and Fixed interest bearing instruments. (Related reading : ‘Types of Debt Funds‘)
  • BALANCED FUNDS invest in both equity and debt instruments.

What are different types of Balanced Funds?

Balanced mutual funds can be Equity oriented or Debt oriented hybrid plans.Balanced Mutual Funds Hybrid Equity oriented Debt Oriented Mutual Fund Schemes

If the average equity exposure of a balanced fund is more than 60% and the remaining 40% is in debt products then it is treated as an Equity Oriented Balanced Fund. This means major portion of the fund’s assets are invested in equity (stocks).

If the average debt exposure is around 60% and equity is 40% then these funds are treated as Balanced funds – Debt oriented. (These proportions can vary among different balanced fund schemes).

As per my last review on Top performing Balanced Funds, I had earlier suggested below schemes ;

  • HDFC Balanced Fund
  • TATA Balanced Fund
  • ICICI Prudential Balanced Fund
  • Birla Sun life Balanced ’95 Fund
  • SBI Magnum Balanced Fund
  • HDFC Children’s Gift Fund

As HDFC Children’s Gift Fund may not be suitable to everyone, so I have included a regular balanced fund in its place, which is L&T Prudence. (Last year, I have suggested to keep an eye on L&T Prudence’s performance.)

If you have invested in any of the above Funds, you may continue with your investments in them.

Top Performing & Best Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes & Returns Analysis

Below are the top and consistent performances under Balanced (Equity oriented) category ;

Best Balanced Funds 5 star top rated equity oriented hybrid mutual fund schemes hdfc balanced fund

  • There are around 61 Balanced (Equity oriented) Schemes. The Category’s average returns have been around 12% for the last 5 years.
  • HDFC Balanced fund has been one of the best consistent performer under ‘Hybrid-Equity’ fund category. The fund’s last ten year record is as good as some of the best pure Equity funds. This fund generally allocates 70% of its corpus to Equities and the remaining balance is invested in Debt Securities. The fund’s investment strategy has been aggressive when it comes to allocation of corpus to mid/small stocks, when compared to its peers. This fund has a very low portfolio turnover (Portfolio turnover is a measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers). The last 5 and 10 year returns are 19% and 16% respectively.
  • Birla Sunlife’s Balanced Fund (’95) is one of the oldest available balanced funds and has also been a consistent performer. This fund has an allocation of around 71% (May 2017) of its corpus to Equities and around 19% has been invested in Debt oriented securities. Around 23% of its Equity allocation has been invested in Banking & Financial Services sector.
  • L&T Prudence Fund, though relatively a new entrant in this category, it has been performing really well for the last few years or so. It has beaten its benchmark and peers by impressive margins over the last four years. The Fund’s risk grade is ‘below average’ and return grade is ‘above average’. It has an allocation of around 69% to Equities. The fund’s investment strategy has been a ‘multi-cap’ approach with slightly higher allocation to Mid/small cap stocks. Whereas, it does not take much risk with Debt securities and primarily allocates debt corpus to less risky bets like Sovereign Debt, Bonds & Treasury investments. We need to see how this fund performs in a bear market (as this fund has been launched in 2011 only).
  • ICICI Prudential Balanced Fund has an Equity allocation of around 65% and around 28% of its corpus is invested in Debt securities. Its performance during the last 5 year period has been quite impressive.
  • SBI Magnum Balanced Fund has been inconsistent until 2011 (with patches of bad and good performances). However, this fund has been performing well since 2011-12.  This fund typically maintains a 75-25 equity-debt mix. The equity part is multi-cap, with 50% allocation to Large cap stocks and 50% allocation to mid/small cap stocks. In the Debt portion, about 50% is invested in G-Secs.
  • TATA Balanced fund has been one of the star performers under Balanced Funds category. However, its performance has not been up to the mark for the last 1-2 years. The fund’s three and five year returns have beaten its benchmark by around 10% and its category by 5% points. But the margin of out-performance has narrowed in the last 1 -2 years. Its standard deviation has been slowly inching higher. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best consistent performers for the last 10 years or so. Its 10 year returns have been around 14%, next best to HDFC Balanced fund.
  • Two more balanced funds to watch out for are Franklin India Balanced Fund & DSP Blackrock Balanced Fund. Let’s keep a track of their performances.

Best Equity Oriented Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes & Risk Ratios

Let’s have a look at the Risk ratios of these top performing & best Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes; Best Balanced Mutual Fund Schemes 2017 2018 Top performing Equity oriented hybrid balanced mutual funds risk ratios

(Sorted based on overall ‘Fund Risk Grade’) (Source :

In case, you have to pick a balanced fund out of these top performing balanced funds as per your requirements, you need to give importance to both returns and measures of volatility. You may analyze various ratios as given in the above image and select the one which is the best for you.

Ideally, the fund should have lower Standard Deviation, low Beta, high Alpha and so on..

Suggest you to kindly go through my article ‘how to pick right mutual fund scheme?‘ for the detailed explanation on various types of risk ratios.

The main benefits of investing in a balanced fund are;

  • Diversification : The funds are invested in both equity and debt financial securities leading to diversification of investments.
  • Asset Allocation & Re-balance : Balanced funds regularly re-balance the portfolio based on market conditions & asset allocation limits. An investor is, thus, saved the hassle of manually re-balancing the portfolio. But it is prudent not to remain invested in these funds till your reach your Financial Goal target year. You may have to switch to safer investment avenues as you reach your target year. (Related reading : ‘List of best Investment Options‘)
  • Low volatility : Balanced funds are less risky compared to pure Equity funds. Equity portion will provide the capital appreciation through stock prices appreciation and dividend income. Whereas, Debt portion can provide stability through interest income and appreciation in Bond prices.
  • Long Term Capital Gains : In terms of taxation, the balanced mutual funds that invest at least 65% in equity (Equity oriented) attract no tax liability on Long Term Capital Gains. The units of these funds should be held for more than 12 months. (Related Reading : ‘Capital Gains on Mutual Fund & Tax implications‘)
  • You can consider balanced funds for your medium to long-term goals like Retirement Planning or for Kid’s Higher Education goal planning.

Have you invested in any of the balanced mutual fund schemes? Do you believe that one should include a balanced fund in his/her long term MF portfolio? Kindly share your views. Cheers!

(References :,, &  (Post Published on : 19-June-2017)

  • Anil says:

    i had invested in the erstwhile HDFC Prudence growth and dividend too. It had given me good returns for the last two years. After the midcap collapse, dividend tax and merger i am not very sure of the perfomance of the new avtar of this MF. Now its known as HDFC balanced advantage fund. i could see too many negatives. The AUM has reduced to 1500 Cr and the fundmanager has changed.
    Would request your views

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Anil,
      May I know your investment objective and time-frame?
      If you would like to stay invested in a typical balanced fund, you may get out of it and move to HDFC Hybrid Equity Fund (HDFC Balanced fund).

      Kindly read :
      * Best Mutual Funds 2018-19 | Top Equity Funds post SEBI’s Reclassification

      • Anil says:

        My objective is monthly income and wealth accumulation/principal protection. HDFC prudence had been doing well in both. It was giving me a dividend of 1% monthly plus around 4% annual appreciation. But from April onwards i have observed a reduction in monthly income, probably due to dividend distribution tax, and it has started eating into my capital

        • Sreekanth Reddy says:

          Dear Anil,
          If one your investment objectives is ‘capital protection’ then it is advisable not to invest in Mutual Funds especially Equity oriented ones.

  • Vidhi says:

    This article cleared all my doubts regarding Balanced Mutual Funds. It has been really very helpful. Thank you.

  • Roy says:

    Hello Sreekanth,

    Wanted to know as to where do i invest 1 lac lumpsum (recd. as security deposit towards lease of apt.) considering the fact that i would need to return the same if the lease not continued post 11 mths.

    Please advise on the same.

    Have a nice evening.

  • Raj says:

    Hi Sree,

    I have been following your articles for over a year now and must thank you for the valuable advise to the readers of your informative blogs.

    I am 40 years old and for last almost one year investing 5K each thru SIPs in Hdfc balanced, ICICI focused bluechip, SBI Multicap, icici value discovery and hdfc midcap opp. funds for different financial goals.

    I have received a lumpsum amount as bonus and also one of the bank FD has matured recently, totaling to about 12 Lacs. Could you please advise where to invest this sum for a medium term horizon of 4-6 years?

    • Dear Raj,
      You may invest this amount through STP route in HDFC balanced fund and ICICI Bluechip fund.
      You can pick Liquid funds from respective fund houses, invest the lump sum amount in them and set up STPs to equity funds.
      For ex : ICICI Pru Liquid plan -> STP -> ICICI Focused
      HDFC Liquid fund -> HDFC Balanced fund.

      Thank you for your appreciation!

      • Raj says:

        Thanks, Sree.

        And for how many months STP should be set for this amount? And for both the funds the date of STP should be same or different?

        By the way, I am not Ajharudin:)

        • Dear Raj,
          Somehow, I sense that this year the equity markets can be very volatile till the time of next General elections.
          You may follow two strategies, one -> STP approach and second -> Invest manually the additional lump sum amounts in your portfolio of existing funds.
          You may set up STPs for 12 months or so.

  • Zainab says:

    Wonderful presentation thanks for the details..

  • deepak says:


    I am following your blog for sometime now. Just need your advice on the below portfolio i am having
    1> HDFC balanced Fund – 2k – i am running it for last 1 year
    2> Franklin India PRIMA PLUS-GROWTH – 2k – i am running it for last 1 year (total 3 year)
    3> Franklin India BLUECHIP FUND-GROWTH – 2k – i am running it for last 1 year (total 3 year)

    I am planning to invest another 8k in SIP- please suggest me something which will give good return in next 5 year time. Also suggest me if I can take Franklin Funds out and invest in somewhere else or continue with those. I am currently 36 year old.

    Thank you in advance.

  • Anil V K says:

    The markets are correcting so is it the right time to top up balanced funds or Large cap or mid cap. Each of them has corrected in the increasing order. Balanced fund the least and small cap the most. What would you advise?

    • Dear Anil,
      If one has a very long term investment time-frame, can surely make additional investments in Mid/Small or diversified equity funds.
      Personally, I investing additional sums in a small cap fund and in an ELSS fund for my long term goal+tax saving.

  • Prakash says:

    Dear sir,

    I want to invest in ultra short term ,funds and small cap funds ,my time horizon for small cap will be 5 yrs ,’which ultra short term fund will best to invest now ,whether Franklin india UST -superinstitutional fund and L and T floating rate fund will be ok to invest or suggest the UST Fund ,to invest in current sceneario , Can we invest in small cap fund at this time ,Thinking to invest in L and T emerging buisness fund? is it right move. to invest. Kindly suggest.

    • Dear Prakash,
      You may go ahead with the mentioned Franklin fund.
      Suggest you to stay invested for long term (more than 5 years) in case you choose to invest in a Small cap fund.
      L&T emerging businesss fund is a decent bet (has allocation of around 42% to small cap stocks ).
      Other funds are :
      Franklin Smaller Cos fund (allocation of around 43% to small cap stocks).
      SBI Small & Mid cap fund (allocation of around 64% to small cap stocks).

      Kindly read:
      How to pick right mutual fund scheme based on Risk Ratios?
      MF Portfolio overlap analysis tools

      • Prakash says:

        Dear sreekanth,

        Thanks for the reply ,and your suggestion on the investment options, My major doubt at this time is ,

        Market going at higher speed , day to day, Whether can we expect any correction at this time for any

        drastic change ,Or can we invest at this time point with out waiting for correction,

        For eg: unit price of ICICI Prud balanced fund last two days before is 140.04 ,but even though correction happened in its price today ,its units price selling at 141.130 compartively lesser than yesterday 141.135 but higher than previous day.

        Kindly clarify my doubt

        • Dear Prakash,
          It is next to impossible to predict the market movements and to TIME the markets.
          In case, one has near term goals and have been investing in Equities adequately, he/she can re-balance the portfolio (can book some profits and invest in safer bets).
          If one is investing for long-term goals, suggest to continue with the investments. In case, markets correct a bit, consider it as an opportunity to invest more (if possible).

  • sri says:


    I’m a regular follower of your blog, and appreciate your work. For a long term portfolio, i prefer SIP and threshold re balancing. When market is undervalued i buy more units, but what should i do when market is over valued?

    Change my asset allocation to say 80:20 debt:eq and stop SIP until market PE correction happens or
    Leave asset allocation as its and stop SIP or
    Leave asset allocation as its and continue SIP or

    • Dear Sri,
      Thank you for following my blog posts.
      Personally, I do not re-balance my portfolio for my long-term goals.
      For ex: If have say 10+ year time-frame from now, let us invest as much as possible in Equity oriented funds and give them the time to grow.
      In case your target goals are say within 5 years from now, may be you can start re-balancing the portfolio.

  • Prakash says:

    Hi sreekanth ,
    I have 20 lakhs as lumps sum ,I have invested already in Franklin India blue Chip -direct growth ,Motilol oswal most focussed multicap 35 , most focussed 25 fund, and I think to invest in Balanced and small cap funds ,can I go with which funds ,Time frame 2 years and 7 years ,

  • Saurabh says:

    Hi Sreekanth,

    SIP is going on for following two mutual for last 3 years:
    ICICI Tax saver – SIP of 3000 INR
    ICICI Value Discovery Fund – Growth – SIP of 4000 INR

    Both has given me around 9-10% interest in 3 years. I am confused shall I keep continue with these MFs for 2 more years or stop these SIPs and invest in some other better MFs

    • Dear Saurabh,
      May I know your investment time-frame?
      Do note that units allotted under each SIP (of ELSS tax saving fund) are locked for 3 years.

      • Saurabh says:

        Hi Sreekanth,
        I don’t need money in near future. So its for long term only. But its not giving me high returns so I was thinking may be I can stop SIP for both (or for any one) and invest in some other funds. ya 3 years are over so locking period for ELSS is already over. Not sure should I continue or look for some other funds.


  • Nandkishore says:

    Hi Sreekanth,

    I have been following your blog from a long time, thanks for sharing this less known information. I have started some of the investments recently only. I am 30 years old married man please review my portpholio all plans are direct taken from my cams online .
    SIPs ->
    1. ABSL tax relief 96 – 4000
    2. DSP black rock tax saver fund – 4000
    3. HDFC small & mid cap fund – 300
    4. L&T emerging business – 3000
    5. IDFC Infrastructure fund – 3000
    6. Kotak select focus – 3000

    One time investments (not stated SIPs.)
    1. ICICI Prud. banking & financial fund – 5000
    2. ABSL small & mid cap – 5000

    Also, Please suggest should I switch one time investments to other existing SIPs. I some short term and some long term goals so which SIPs should be taken for respective goals.

    • Dear Nandkishore,
      Thank you for being a loyal reader!

      Could you kindly define your investment time-frames?
      The listed funds are good ones. Do note that sector specific funds have very high risk-profile.
      None of these funds may not be suitable for short term goals.

      Kindly read :
      How to pick right mutual fund schemes?
      MF portfolio overlap analysis tools

      • Nandkishore says:

        Hi Sreekanthm

        Thanks fro the quick response. first of all there is a correction at fund no.3. it is
        HDFC mid cap opportunity fund NOT HDFC small & mid cap fund – 3000

        My Goals are –
        1. I have some very short term goals 3 to 4 years. (Home purchase), I am saving amount for that too other than SIPs, but I will need some SIPs amount (from where I should take 3-4 lakhs ).
        2. Mid term goal – 8 to 10 years. (land purchase at my village 12 – 15 lakhs)
        3. Long term goal – 15-20 year (child education etc 15- 20 laks)
        4. For retirement – I am thinking EPF+ EPS+NPS will be sufficient (should be around 25 lakhs and pension of 10k \ month).

        1. I am thinking to move\switch the one time invested amount i.e. 5000 from

        # ICIC Prud Bank –to-> IDFC infrastructure fund.
        # ABSL small & mid cap –to-> ABSL tax reliefe 96.

        and will stop the ICICI and ABSL small & mid cap funds. Please suggest if I am thinking is correct.
        2. After time (6 month or 1 year) am thinking to take a balanced fund (HDFC Balanced fund) so should I take that or do a top up on existing funds(if yes which one I should choose).


  • Siva Madire says:

    Hi Sir

    Myself Siva .I have been investing in MF from 2.5 years .my portfolio is as below .

    I am investing in direct growth plan and 5000 rupees in each fund in SIP

    I would like to invest 15000 rupees /month more so please suggest if i have to add new MF or can I increase SIP in existing funds.Also let me know if my portfolio is good as I am looking for long-term (15 years) and want to accumulate 4 crore by that time.

    iam 36 year old now.i have term insurance for 2 cr . Health insurance covered by employer apart from that i have health insurance for 25 lakhs/ year.
    I have a kind of investment (some thing like ppf) in company of around 45 lakhs and it will keep increasing by 6.5 lakhs per year . This money is actually invested in company stocks.

    After paying all emi’s (for flat and plots) iam still left with 2 lakhs per month of savings .i have a bank balance of 5 lakhs as emergency fund .

    My father is 72 year old .he is exservicemen.all medical expenses for him are covered by government.

    This is my present situation . I have 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son .my goql is to create wealth for thwir education (graduation or similar).so i can invest for a time frame of 15 years .

    Please give your suggestions regarding my portfolio (amendmenta/addition / deletion of funds)
    Thanx in advance

  • Gaurav says:

    Hi Srikanth,

    I am planning my finances for 2018 and once again need your advice and expertise on doing so.

    Specifically, I am looking at investing an additional 12000 per month in Mutual Funds through SIPs for 8-10 year period towards wealth generation goals.
    Please also advise in case any reshuffle is needed in existing SIP holdings.

    Also, I would request you to please advise in case my coverage on insurance fronts is OK.
    I have always valued and 100% trusted your advice and am once again reaching out for your immense expertise.

    Family: Myself (35), Wife(32), Dependent Mother(68).

    Income: Myself- INR 125000 PM. Wife- INR 100000 PM.Wife also gets VPF deducted equal to PF.
    Fixed Expenses- House Rent+Maintenance- 32000 PM, Car EMI- 11000 PM, PPF- 1000 PM, SIP- 38000 PM.

    1. Current SBA Account Balance- 5 lacs
    2. Locked Savings (iWish + SBI e term deposits)- 10 lacs
    3. Family Home worth 1.5 CR in a tier 2 city(no plans of sale in near future)

    Insurance Covers:
    1. Organization Life Covers from both mine and wife’s organization worth 1Cr each.
    2. Organization Health Covers for full family from both our companies worth- 5Lakh and 7Lakh
    3. My Term Plan: LIC e-term plan for 50 Lacs cover 35 year term (stared Feb 2016)
    4. Wife’s Term Plan: ICICI Pru iProtect Smart for 50 lacs cover 30 year term (started Jan 2016)
    5. My Personal Accident Cover: Max Bupa Health Assurance Accident Care- 50 lacs cover
    6. Wife’s Personal Accident Cover: Max Bupa Health Assurance Accident Care- 35 lacs cover
    7. Wife and Me Joint Health Plan: Max Bupa Health Companion Family Floater- 10 lacs cover

    Mutual Funds SIP Investment:
    (there are several from ICICI because that was when I had just started initially on a friend’s advice with no prior knowledge)
    1. 5000 PM- started Jan 2017 – Tata Balanced Fund (G)
    2. 5000 PM- started Jan 2016- SBI Magnum MidCap (G)
    3. 10000 PM- started Dec 2016- Franklin India Tax Shield (G)
    4. 5000 PM- started Dec 2016- SBI BlueChip (G)
    5. 5000 PM- started March 2017- ICICI Prudential Long Term Equity Fund (Tax Saving) – Direct Plan – Growth
    6. 1000 PM- started Aug 2015- ICICI Prudential Long Term Equity Fund (Tax Saving)- Growth
    7. 2000 PM- started Aug 2015- ICICI Prudential Focused Bluechip Equity Fund – Growth
    8. 1000 PM- started Feb 2016- ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund – Direct Plan – Growth
    9. 2000 PM- started Aug 2015- ICICI Prudential Value Discovery Fund – Growth
    10. 2000 PM- started Aug 2015- ICICI Prudential Balanced Fund – Growth

    Thanks a lot in advance


    • Dear Gaurav,
      1 – Locked savings of Rs 10 Lakh – Is this part of your Contingency planning?
      2 – Is your mother covered under Company’s health insurance plan?
      3 – You currently own investments in multiple funds from same fund categories like two balanced funds, two large cap funds, two ELSS funds..
      You may discontinue ICICI LTE elss fund and continue with Franklin Taxshield.
      You may discontinue your investments in TATA balanced fund.
      SBI bluechip and ICICI Focused – both are decent funds. You may check their portfolios overlap.
      Kindly continue with ICICI Value discovery fund.
      SBI mid-cap has been an average performer in mid/small fund category.

      • Gaurav says:

        Hi Srikanth,
        1. 10Lakhs- is towards possible downpayment contribution to my brother’s flat purchase next year.
        2. Yes, mother is covered in company’s health plan.
        3. Thanks for advice- ICICI LTE is wife’s tax saver and Franklin is mine. Should she continue or switch to Franklin? I will discontinue TATA Balanced fund. So I have 5000 from Tata balanced fund, plus an additional 12000 per month which I wish to invest. What would be the ideal option to invest this 18000 per month?

        Once again, thanks for all the help and guidance.

        Gaurav Sharma







  • Vineet says:

    I have been advised by a company to do sip in below mentioned funds. For a moderate risk investor, please advice

    Asset Class Fund
    Large Cap IDBI India Top 100 Equity Fund – Growth
    Mid Cap Motilal Oswal M0st focused MidCap 30 Fund – Growth
    Index IDBI Nifty Index Fund – Growth
    MidTerm Corp Bond DHFL Pramerica Medium Term Income Fund
    GILT IDFC GSF – Provident Fund – Growth
    Commodities Birla Sun Life Gold Fund – Growth
    ShortTerm Corp Bond Principal Short Term Income Fund – Growth

    • Dear Vineet,
      Kindly check with them on what basis they have suggested these funds??

      May I know your investment objectives and time-frame??

      • Vineet says:

        I asked the same question and they replied-
        //”In case of Equity fund we majorly check

        1.What is total exposure of that asset class.

        2.What is risk adjusted return earned in the funds, expense ratio etc.

        In case of Debt Funds

        1.What is the investment category and the grading for the securities which the fund manager is handling.

        2.What is the maturity of these securities.”//

        Investment objective is wealth creation. Time frame could be 5-15 yrs.
        The past performance of almost all the funds they suggested seems poor. I want to invest in 2 parts-
        1. Lumpsum of several lakhs in a comparatively safer area. 3-5 yrs. Return expected 8-12%. Should this be debt funds or Dynamic Asset Allocation Funds or any other?
        2. SIPs in equity that I discussed above.

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