Fund Review as of 03/31/2015

The Multi-Asset Balanced Opportunity Fund returned 2.09%, reflecting performance at the net asset value (NAV) of Class A shares, with all distributions reinvested, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, compared to its benchmark, the 40% Russell 1000® Index1/35% Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index2/15% BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Constrained Index3/10% MSCI EAFE Index with Gross Dividends,4 which returned 2.15%. The Fund’s average annual total returns, which reflect performance at the maximum 2.25% sales charge applicable to Class A share investments and include the reinvestment of all distributions, as of March 31, 2015, are: one year: 2.80%; five years: 8.26%; and 10 years: 6.15%. Expense ratio, gross5: 1.17%, and net (excludes other expenses)6: 1.03%.

Performance data quoted represent past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the fund will fluctuate so that shares, on any given day or when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. To obtain performance data current to the most recent month-end, call Lord Abbett at 888-522-2388 or visit us at

At the tactical asset allocation level, the Fund’s holdings in high grade bonds and emerging markets currencies detracted from relative performance, as these categories underperformed the Fund’s benchmark.  High grade bonds, which are more interest rate-sensitive than high yield bonds, generated only modest returns in the first quarter as investors tried to determine when the U.S. Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) will begin raising interest rates.  U.S. dollar strength during the quarter caused the allocation to emerging markets currencies to detract from relative performance as the benchmark contains no emerging markets currencies.  In contrast, domestic mid-cap equities and high yield bonds outperformed the Fund’s benchmark and allocations to these categories contributed to performance relative to the benchmark.

Although allocations to high grade bonds and emerging markets currencies were detractors from relative performance, security selection within these groups helped to offset the negative impact. Within high grade bonds, exposure to commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) was a contributor to performance, as fundamentals remain consistent with an improving U.S. economy and spreads tightened accordingly.  Among emerging markets currencies, the underweight to Euro-dependent countries helped performance, as the currencies of these areas generally depreciated during the quarter due to the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing announcement. The overweight to higher-yielding Asian-based currencies also benefited the strategy.

Please refer to under the “Portfolio” tab for a complete list of holdings of the Fund, including the securities discussed above.


Looking ahead, U.S. economic momentum should drive secular dollar strength – welcome news for countries trying to dig out of their economic malaise through exports. As overseas growth accelerates and the domestic expansion matures, monetary policy should also converge. While this convergence will take time, we continue to scrutinize evolving central bank behavior given the impact of monetary policy on economic and asset class performance.

The U.S. equity risk premium (a valuation measure of the relative attractiveness of stocks versus bonds) still indi­cates that stocks are attractively valued, although less so than in recent years. While the Fund maintained a similar allocation to equities quarter-over-quarter, we continued to shift the composition of the stock holdings in favor of international securities. After an extended period of underperformance, international stocks represent compelling relative value. Additionally, international equities should benefit from the tailwinds of improved export pricing, lower energy costs and accommodative monetary policy. As noted, however, we continued to implement some currency hedges consistent with our outlook for long-term U.S. dollar strength.

We meaningfully increased the allocation to emerging market currencies during the period. Although we expect secular U.S. dollar appreciation and more balanced global growth, market expectations of future monetary policy convergence should be supportive of emerging currencies. We continue to distinguish, however, between those countries that should most benefit from low oil prices and those that are dependent on commodity exports or are expected to cut interest rates in the coming quarters. With respect to developed market currencies, exceptionally accommodative monetary policy in Europe and Japan should render their currencies less attractive, a view expressed via the Fund’s developed market currency hedges.

During the first quarter, we took advantage of tightening credit spreads to reduce the Fund’s position in high yield bonds, yet remain modestly overweight. Going forward, an improving U.S. economy should bene­fit the credit profiles of corporate issuers, lead­ing to a continued stream of high yield companies graduating to the investment grade market. Additionally, attractive yields and relatively limited interest rate sensitivity support the case for credit-sensitive fixed income as the U.S. central bank edges towards policy normalization.

Effective November 29, 2013, the Lord Abbett Balanced Strategy Fund changed its name to Lord Abbett Multi-Asset Balanced Opportunity Fund.

The Fund invests all of its net assets directly in the underlying funds. The percentages are based on individual securities owned in one or more of the underlying funds. The Fund’s portfolio is actively managed and, therefore, its holdings and the weightings of a particular issuer or a particular sector as a percentage of portfolio assets may change significantly over time. Sectors may include many industries.  The mention of specific portfolio holdings is for information only.  It does not constitute a recommendation or an offer for a particular security or fund, nor should it be taken as a solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell securities or other investments.

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