8/24/2011 3:10 PM ET|
The top time-tested mutual funds
Want to get the most for your nest egg? These funds are the best performers by category over the past one-, three-, five-, 10- and 20-year stretches.
Here are top mutual fund performers over the past one, three, five, 10 and 20 years, in 11 categories -- 10 stock-fund groups and one group for alternative investments -- along with a few suggestions on funds you should consider buying.
The lists consist of funds that require only modest initial investments and are available to all classes of customers.
Large-company stock funds
Growth funds dominate the list of leaders over the past 12 months, which is not surprising given how slowly the economy is growing.
Over longer periods, a few value-conscious managers, such as Donald Yacktman, stand out. With his son Stephen, Yacktman runs two eponymous top performers: Yacktman (YACKX) and Yacktman Focused (YAFFX).
Many of the category's top funds, including Yacktman's, hold relatively few stocks or make big sector bets. Of course, a focused strategy can backfire, as it has in 2011 for Fairholme (FAIRX), which is heavily invested in financial stocks.
Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) is a growth-oriented fund that's been deftly run by Will Danoff since 1990. Two funds that adhere to Islamic investing principles -- Amana Trust Growth (AMAGX) and Amana Trust Income (AMANX) -- benefited during the financial crisis by shunning ownership of companies that lend money.
- Large-company funds: See the 10 top performers over the past one-, three-, five-, 10- and 20-year periods at Kiplinger
Midsize-company stock funds
Midsize companies are in the market's sweet spot. They are small enough to be able to grow swiftly, yet they are less risky than small-company stocks.
The longer-term winners in this category have excelled in a variety of market climates.
Rick Aster, who has run the Meridian Growth (MERDX) fund since 1984, sniffs out fast-growing, high-quality companies and hangs on to them. Appleseed (APPLX) is a socially screened fund with a value bent and a sizable gold stake among its 20 holdings.
This category also includes funds, such as Fidelity Low-Priced Stock (FLPSX), that invest in companies of all sizes. This fund typically buys stocks priced at $35 a share or less. Joel Tillinghast, who has run it since its 1989 launch, holds nearly 900 stocks.
- Midsize-company funds: See the 10 top performers over the past one-, three-, five-, 10- and 20-year periods at Kiplinger
Small-company stock funds
This has been the strongest part of the U.S. market over the past year. Small-company stocks, particularly those of fast-growing companies, have been on a tear since the bear market ended in March 2009. The Russell 2000 Growth index was up 34% in 2009, 29% last year and 8.6% in the first half of 2011.
That not one of the top one-year performers appears on the list of three-year winners underscores the risk of investing in this volatile category of funds.
Intrepid Small Cap (ICMAX), which seeks value stocks, has been a consistent performer, but it recently had a change of managers. The T. Rowe Price Equity Income (PRFDX)and Baron Small Cap (BSCFX) funds have stellar long-term records -- each has returned an average of 8.4% a year over the past decade.
- Small-company funds: See the 10 top performers over the past one-, three-, five-, 10- and 20-year periods at Kiplinger
This hodgepodge category includes convertible-bond funds, balanced funds and others whose common denominator is that they are not fully invested in common stocks.
Among traditional balanced funds -- those that have about two-thirds of their assets in stocks and the rest in fixed-income securities -- two standout value-oriented choices are Dodge & Cox Stock (DODGX) and Oakmark Equity and Income (OAKBX).
The Vanguard Wellesley Income (VWINX) fund is the mirror image of typical balanced funds; it allocates two-thirds of its portfolio to bonds, and the rest is in stocks. The Permanent Portfolio (PRPFX) fund invests in, among other things, stocks, Treasurys, Swiss francs and gold.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
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