TIAA-CREF Growth & Income Fund

Scorecard
4 / 5 Stars
Lipper
5 5 5 4 1
Zacks Investment Research
1 (Strong Buy)
Standard & Poor's
4 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
B+ (Buy)

U.S. News evaluated 464 Large Growth Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.

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Note: Profile written for different share class.

Performance

The fund has returned 26.33 percent over the past year, 16.53 percent over the past three years, 18.33 percent over the past five years, and 9.49 percent over the past decade. 

Trailing Returns Updated 06.30.2014
Year to date 6.6%
1 Year 26.3%
3 Years (Annualized) 16.5%
5 Years (Annualized) 18.3%
10 Years (Annualized) 9.5%

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Summary

TIAA-CREF Growth & Income is exactly what it appears to be: a straightforward way to get actively managed exposure to some of the country's biggest companies.

As of July 03, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $4.47 billion invested in 228 different holdings. Its portfolio consists primarily of shares of large-cap companies.

After finishing in the bottom half of its category in 2010, this fund is regaining some of its luster. That's because manager Susan Kemple won't stray too far from the S&P 500 Index, which is about 5 percent as of the end of March. ExxonMobil is the fund's single largest holding, and its strong performance this year has contributed to the fund's returns. JPMorgan Chase, GE, and Pfizer have all also performed well. The fund has returned 26.33 percent over the past year and 16.53 percent over the past three years. 

Historically, the fund has been a steady performer. Its retail share class launched in 2006, but the institutional share class has been around since 1999. Susan Kempler took over the portfolio in 2005, and Thomas Franks became a co-manager earlier this year. Says Morningstar: "Kempler's approach is moderate. She doesn't make big sector or stock bets and holds more names than the typical large-blend fund manager. Kempler is benchmark-aware, usually keeping sector weights within a few percentage points of the S&P 500's. She fills the portfolio with stable, growing companies with good management and strong balance sheets." Under Kempler's watch, the fund had its best year (relative to its peers) in 2007, when it gained 19 percent and landed in the top 3 percent of Morningstar's large-blend category. The fund has returned 18.33 percent over the past five years and 9.49 percent over the past decade. 

Investment Strategy

The fund has a preference for dividend-paying stocks and likes to keep its weighted average market capitalization in line with that of the S&P 500. According to its prospectus: "The Fund focuses on equity securities of larger, well-established, mature growth companies that [are] attractively valued, show the potential to appreciate faster than the rest of the market and offer a growing stream of dividend income."

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls this fund a "core" holding.  

Management

Susan Kempler took over the portfolio in 2005, and Thomas Franks became a co-manager earlier this year. The fund is advised by Teachers Advisors.

Fees

TIAA-CREF Growth & Income Fund has an expense ratio of 0.70 percent. 

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Risk

Like all stock funds, this one comes with some risks.

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