Putnam Mutual Funds

Putnam Investments has a heritage that dates back to the 1830's.  That's quite a history, even when compared to the other mutual fund giants reviewed.  Putnam mutual funds also reflect the balance you'd expect with such a long investment history.  They produce an excellent mix of both stock and bond funds.

Putnam Family of Funds

It's possible to purchase Putnam funds through Putnam Investments, which serves both the institutional and individual investor.  An interesting part of the company's history dates back to 1830, when Supreme Court Justice Samuel Putnam helped to establish the legal foundation around which the professional money management services industry exists.

In 1937, George Putnam founded the George Putnam Fund of Boston, which claims to be one of the first funds to offer investors a balance of stock and bonds in their portfolio.  Today, that company has grown to manage over $69 billion in assets and over five million shareholder accounts (September 2018).

Putnam offers investors a wide range of services including over 80 different mutual funds, Roth and Traditional IRAs, professional management of over 900 different 401(k) plans and 529 college savings plans.  The company boasts nearly 3,600 employees with offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, and Beijing.

Fee Structures and Returns

Morningstar ratings indicate the expense ratio for domestic stock funds (1.27%), international stocks (1.48%), municipal bond funds (1.06), and taxable bonds (1.03%) are Average.  Putnam shows a relatively balanced mix of stock and bond funds, with around 41% of assets in stocks and 32% in bonds; the remainder being invested in money market assets.

Putnam does not have a minimum investment; it's advertised as $0, which would be the lowest of the families reviewed.  Unfortunately, only around 34.3% of the Putnam funds are no-load mutual funds.  Typical front-loads are in the 5.25% range.  As of September 2018, the average return on a Putnam fund was 7.83% over the last five years.

Putnam Multi-Cap Core Y (PMYYX)

  • Assets: $529.0 million
  • Category: Large Value
  • Specialty: None
  • Top Three Holdings: Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Bank of America.
  • Load: None
  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Expense Ratio: 0.78%
  • 5-Year Average Return: 16.07%

Putnam Dynamic Asset Allocation Gr A (PAEAX)

  • Assets: $2.8 billion
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Specialty: None
  • Top Three Holdings: Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
  • Load: 5.75% (front load)
  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Expense Ratio: 1.11%
  • 5-Year Average Return: 11.14%

Putnam RetirementReady 2050 Y (PRRUX)

  • Assets: $56.2 million
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Specialty: Target Date 2050
  • Top Three Holdings: Putnam Dynamic Asset Allocation Equity, and Putnam Absolute Return.
  • Load: None
  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Expense Ratio: 0.88%
  • 5-Year Average Return: 11.34%

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