The top 25 mutual funds according to Kiplinget.com as of September 30, 2009 are:
FUND NAME SYMBOL
Baron Small Cap BSCFX
CGM Focus CGMFX
Dodge & Cox Stock DODGX
Fairholme Fund FAIRX
FBR Focus FBRVX
Fidelity Contrafund FCNTX
Fidelity Low-Priced Stock FLPSX
FPA Crescent FPACX
Longleaf Partners LLPFX
Pimco CommodityRealRet Strat D PCRDX
Selected American Shares S SLASX
T. Rowe Price Equity Income PRFDX
T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth RPMGX
T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Value PRSVX
Vanguard Primecap Core VPCCX
Vanguard Selected Value VASVX
Artio International Equity II A JETAX
Dodge & Cox Intl Stock DODFX
Marisco Global MGLBX
T. Rowe Price Emg Mkts Stock PRMSX
Dodge & Cox Income DODIX
Fidelity Intermediate Municipal Income FLTMX
Harbor Bond Institutional HABDX
Loomis Sayles Bond LSBRX
Vanguard Infl-Protected Secs VIPSX
These mutual funds cover a wide variety of assets. They give a specific mix to bring about a better return, and a buffer against normal market downturns. All have a proven track record. Many have been in existence from three to five years, and have increased in value.
Each one suits the needs of a specific type of investor. How fast to grow his investment? How much is there to invest? Is there interest in a specific asset, a market sector, or investments in international mutual funds?
These mutual funds have reasonable investment minimums and expense ratios. Initial investments range from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00. Most are suitable for IRA investing. Expense ratios are between 0% and 1.5%. They have no maximum loads.
There are six categories: large-company funds, small- and mid-cap funds, overseas/global funds, go-anywhere funds, commodity funds, and bond funds. The one category with the best overall returns is the bond funds. It has had steady growth for ten years. In the last year, several have had between 15% and 20% growth.
While this past year has been tough for the industry, these funds have reasonably weathered the storm. As with any investing, it pays to research a fund to check its current health, and overall track record. Pay attention to market trends. See which mix of assets is performing well. Determine how much risk is reasonable. Remember that the final choice is the investor's.