Since there are thousands of mutual funds to choose from, investors considering purchasing shares of any fund must think about their investment goals and what they expect to achieve by investing in funds. There are 8,000 mutual funds currently listed in the public domain, according to Investopedia. Therefore, investors should narrow their search to a few simple investment objectives and the type of funds that meets those objectives.
Retirement-Income Mutual Funds
• Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund- The fund returned a 6.22 percent yield over the past three years for its investors. As of 2015, the fund holds $11 billion in assets spread over six different holdings. The investment objective is to strengthen the income for individuals currently in retirement.
Large-Value Mutual Funds
• Fidelity Large-Cap Value Enhanced Index Fund- Over the past three years, this fund returned 21.2 percent for its investors. The annualized five-year return is 16.4 percent. The fund focuses on large market capitalization companies within the Russell 1000 Value Index. Currently, 80 percent of the fund is in undervalued large-cap stocks.
High-Yield Bond Mutual Funds
• SEI Institutional Investment Trust High-Yield Bond Fund- The fund adds assets by purchasing below investment grade fixed-income securities. Over the past five years, the fund yielded 9.68 percent. 80 percent of the fund’s assets include corporate bonds, collateralized-debt obligations and zero-coupon obligations. The fund and its managers take a riskier approach to bond investing in an effort to capitalize on companies struggling financially but in the process of strengthening their balance sheets.
The best way investors should approach investing in mutual funds is to examine a fund’s performance over the past five years. If the fund shows consistent returns, whether in a good or bad market, then it may meet specific investment goals. However, any fund showing consistent returns over any given period of time does not guarantee future results.