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Balanced fund is a mutual fund that buys a combination of common stock, preferred stock, bonds, and short-term bonds, to provide both income and capital appreciation while avoiding excessive risk. The purpose of balanced funds is to provide investors with a single mutual fund that combines both growth and income objectives, by investing in both stocks (for growth) and bonds (for income). Such diversified holdings ensure that these funds will manage downturns in the stock market without too much of a loss. Balanced funds will usually increase less than an all-stock fund during a bull market. Balanced funds are also called hybrid funds.