The Individual Investor's Guide to the Top Mutual Funds 2013
This year’s Top Funds Guide is published on the heels of a good year for mutual funds. Mutual fund assets totaled $12.872 trillion as of November 30, 2012, versus $11.627 trillion on December 31, 2011, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI).
Credit the performance of the markets, domestic and foreign, for this increase. Many stock funds achieved double-digit returns in 2012, as did funds focused on long-term bonds, high-yield bonds and convertible bonds.
In this article
- How to Use This Guide
- Which Funds Were Included
- A Key to Terms and Statistics
- Performance Tables
- More on Mutual Funds
- Category & Style Definitions
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The increase in assets under management may have been even larger had investors not pulled money out of stock funds. Domestic stock funds experienced weekly outflows 47 times during the period of January 4, 2012, to January 2, 2013, according to the ICI’s estimate of weekly mutual fund flows. In other words, there were only six weeks last year when domestic stock funds saw an estimated inflow of cash from investors.
One area where investors did put their investment dollars was target date funds. These funds are designed to adjust their portfolio allocations as the target date (e.g., 2015) approaches. Their popularity has been boosted by automatic enrollment and default allocation policies used by 401(k) and similar employer- sponsored retirement plans. Many investors are also choosing target date funds because of the allure of an “all-in-one” approach to portfolio allocation.
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