Here's a list of balanced funds, all of which have pretty good long term records.
First number: what each lost in 2008
Second number: total return 1996-2012:
OAKBX: -16.2; 10.5
FPACX: -20.6; 10.0
PRWCX: -27.2; 10.2
PRPFX: -8.4; 8.0
VWELX: -23.3; 8.4
DODBX: -33.6; 8.5
FPURX: -29.2; 7.3
FBALX: -31.3; 7.2
So, you can see many highly regarded balanced funds still lost over 20% in 2008. The peak to trough max drawdown (Oct 2007 to March 2009) would have been even higher.
Since you have all of your expenses covered regardless, you could just go with laddered CDs if your risk tolerance won't let you take the balanced fund risk. You'd get rising returns over time as rates rose.
Yes, but also I Match Each BF's % allocation at that Time ( 08') to that of owning the alternative of the Same % in a Port of using Index Funds..
A 5 Index Fund Port : (-) Lost 08' and a 10 yr apy ending 2012..
60/40 lost (22%) + 9% apy
The 7 Index *Coffeehouse Port Lost -20.21%
and 10 yr = + 8.3% apy
*The Coffeehouse Returns-
70/30 lost ( -26%) + 9.95% apy
40/60 Lost ( -13% ) +8.9% apy
and that is Assuming You Did Not Touch it and Just B&H it.. Most Sold or Reduced their Equities out of Fear.. and Have not returned to their Original % allocations Prior to 08'.
I Don't recommend to Invest into BF's ( Bal Fnds) to Make More.. But to Loose Less and Do about the Same as Owning a Port Of Indexes and having to run/manage yourself.. If you have the Past Proven History of having the Self Discipline it takes to Manage your Own Portfolio and comparing it to a similar 2-3 Bal Funds and have Done at least 1% apy Better? And You Want to Continue to Manage it yourself?
By All Means, Continue to do so..
Otherwise? Consider using Bal. Funds.. vs TDF's or All Bonds..or Hiring a FA or FMF ( Financial Mgmtn. Firm) to do so for you..