Best Mutual Funds To Invest In Now: 12 Top Performers

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Mutual funds allow beginner investors a way to break into stock market investments. A few broad-based funds are a simple way to build a diverse portfolio without needing to do further research on the risks and rewards of different stocks, bonds and other assets.

© Inside Creative House / Getty Images/iStockphoto Senior couple doing home finances using laptop indoors.

As mutual funds are composed of other investments, volatility, returns and cost can vary. Choosing the right mutual funds can be a daunting process, as the options range from incredibly mild to extremely risky.

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GOBankingRates has compiled a study that takes a look at many mutual funds, scoring them based on their year-to-date performance and their expense ratio, which is essentially a management fee. This should give you a sense of which funds are having a banner year without charging too much in the process.

Also included in the study are some factors to consider when comparing mutual funds. This includes determining the comparative risk and income for different types of mutual funds. This list should provide any investor a good rundown of the funds that are in the midst of a volatile year, as well as which of them have low fees and proven lasting power.

Best Mutual Funds To Invest In

High returns are often balanced with expense ratios, and which funds do best can vary based on five-year, 10-year and 15-year spans. Here are 12 of the best mutual funds to invest in as of October 2021:

Fund Name and Symbol Fund Performance (Year-to-Date Return) Gross Expense Ratio
iShares Russell Small/Mid-Cap Index Fund Investor A Shares (BSMAX) 15.25% 0.44%
T. Rowe Price U.S. Equity Research Fund (PRCOX) 16.91% 0.45%
Calvert US Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund Class A (CSXAX) 15.48% 0.60%
T. Rowe Price Large Cap Growth Fund Investor Class (TRGOX) 17.40% 0.71%
Thrivent Small Cap Stock Fund Class S (TSCSX) 20.94% 0.84%
AB Large Cap Growth Fund Class A (APGAX) 16.21% 0.87%
Putnam Large Cap Value Fund Class A (PEYAX) 19.54% 0.90%
Parametric Commodity Strategy Fund Investor Class (EAPCX) 27.22% 0.94%
JPMorgan U.S. Equity Fund Class A (JUEAX) 15.69% 0.99%
Neuberger Berman Large Cap Value Fund Trust Class (NBPTX) 23.57% 1.04%
Neuberger Berman Large Cap Value Fund Class A (NPNAX) 23.55% 1.06%
Fuller & Thaler Behavioral Small-Cap Equity Fund Investor Shares (FTHNX) 23.25% 1.09%%
Data is accurate as of Oct. 4, 2021.

Those are some of the best mutual funds of 2021, but there are many more. If you want to find the best mutual funds to invest in for your portfolio, you may need to do a little research.

What Is the Average Mutual Fund Return?

Average mutual fund returns vary based on the mutual fund type. The best mutual funds to invest in span the gamut from exceptionally high returns to fairly modest returns, all of which are related to risk.

When looking at returns, you should look at not only the YTD return, but also five-year, 10-year and 15-year segments. If you’re balancing your portfolio for risk, the best mutual funds to buy in 2021 could be lower-risk money market funds. If you’re balancing your portfolio for growth, the best mutual funds to buy now might be high-risk stock funds.

What To Consider When Choosing a Mutual Fund

If there was a single best mutual fund to buy now, everyone would invest in that one without exception. But just as every investor is different, the best mutual funds to invest in now vary depending on goals.

Some investors choose mutual funds based on the type of investing the fund does. A real estate fund, for instance, may be more stable than a tech fund — or an investor may only want green and sustainable funds.

Some mutual funds allocate risk based on specific dates, such as retirement funds that are targeted toward retiring in 2045. Over time, and as that target date approaches, the mix of assets will be rebalanced, and the risk allocation will change. This is great for a “set and forget” retirement fund.

Keep in Mind

Fundamentally, investors should consider whether they want active or passive funds, whether the fees make sense to them and whether their portfolio as a whole is well balanced. While ranking the best mutual funds by performance is possible, volatility, fees and risk also matter.

Investors should also consider the minimum purchase for a mutual fund and the commission costs to purchase it.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of Oct. 4, 2021, and subject to change.

This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

This article originally appeared on Best Mutual Funds To Invest In Now: 12 Top Performers

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