Best Mutual Funds To Invest In Now: 12 Top Performers

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Mutual funds help you build a diverse portfolio and eliminate the need to research stocks and other assets individually. Although they’re generally a safer investment than individual assets, choosing the right mutual funds can be a daunting process, as the options range from incredibly mild to extremely risky. GOBankingRates has compiled some of the best funds of 2022 to help you take the guesswork out of choosing which funds are best for you.

How We Chose the Funds

To identify the best mutual funds for 2022, GOBankingRates looked at a number of factors, including:

  • Year-to-date and long-term performance
  • Years since fund creation
  • Tenure of fund managers
  • Morningstar rating of 5
  • Brokerage fees
  • Expense ratio

Also considered were comparative risk and income for different types of mutual funds. Here are 12 of the best for 2022.

Best Stock Mutual Funds for Low Expense Ratio

The expense ratio is the percentage of a fund’s assets that go to operating expenses. A lower number is better because it means more assets are invested.

T. Rowe Price US Equity Research Fund

This fund is designed to have sector weightings similar to those of the S&P 500. Most of its assets are large-cap stocks, but it may also invest in small- and mid-cap securities. It has slightly higher-than-average risk, but expenses are low and the fund delivers above-average returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -6.43%
  • 5-year performance: 16.43%
  • 10-year performance: 14.71%
  • Expense ratio: 0.43%
Building Wealth

T. Rowe Price All-Cap Opportunities Fund

The All-Cap Opportunities Fund from T. Rowe Price invests at least 65% of its assets in the stocks of American companies operating in sectors that T. Rowe Price has identified as having the fastest or greatest growth potential. It may also invest in foreign stocks. The fund is slightly more risky than average, and it offers high returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -8.11%
  • 5-year performance: 21.95%
  • 10-year performance: 17.61%
  • Expense ratio: 0.77%

T. Rowe Price U.S. Equity Research Fund

This is a global large blend fund that consists mostly of large-cap stocks but may also include small- and mid-cap stocks as well as foreign securities. The portfolio is weighted about the same as the S&P 500 in terms of sector and industry. The top 10 holdings, which comprise 31.01% of the portfolio, include Berkshire Hathaway and UnitedHealth Group along with tech heavyweights like Apple and Microsoft.

  • Year-to-date performance: -6.43%
  • 5-year performance: 16.43%
  • 10-year performance: 14.71%
  • Expense ratio: 0.43%

Best Asset Allocation Funds

An asset allocation fund invests in a variety of different types of assets to increase diversity.

Janus Henderson Balanced Fund Class T

This fund prioritizes long-term capital growth while preserving capital and is balanced by current income. It generally invests 35% to 65% in equity securities and the rest in fixed-income securities. The fund has an average risk rating and higher-than-average returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -8.75%
  • 5-year performance: 11.71%
  • 10-year performance: 9.86%
  • Expense ratio: 0.82%

American Funds Tax-Aware Conservative Growth and Income Portfolio Class F-1

This fund focuses on providing current income, some of which is tax-exempt, while protecting long-term growth. It invests in a variety of American stocks and bonds as well as foreign stocks across categories such as growth, growth and income, equity income, balanced income and fixed income. This fund has a lower-than-average risk profile and above-average returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -5.95%
  • 5-year performance: 7.51%
  • 10-year performance: N/A
  • Expense ratio: 0.68%
Building Wealth

Fidelity Multi-Asset Income Fund

The Fidelity Multi-Asset Income Fund invests in equities, investment-grade and non-investment-grade bonds, cash and other assets, with 50% to 70% of its assets in equities and the remainder in debt securities, including non-investment-grade bonds. It has a lower-than-average risk profile and high returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -3.93%
  • 5-year performance: 10.85%
  • 10-year performance: N/A
  • Expense ratio: 0.78%

Best Bond Mutual Funds

Bond funds diversify your portfolio while providing you with a regular source of income. Although returns are generally lower than you’ll find with stock funds, many bond funds — especially those that invest in investment-grade bonds — are also less risky.

Calvert Core Bond Fund Class A

This fund typically invests at least 80% of its net assets in investment-grade, U.S. dollar-denominated debt securities. Up to 5% of assets may be invested in junk bonds. Despite that, this is a lower-risk fund with high returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -9.03%
  • 5-year performance: 5.17%
  • 10-year performance: 5.01%
  • Expense ratio: 0.74%

Guggenheim Core Bond Fund Class P

The Guggenheim Core Bond Fund invests mostly in investment-grade fixed-income securities, which may include closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds. It’s a lower-risk fund with a long track record of solid returns and low fees.

  • Year-to-date performance: -10.44%
  • 5-year performance: 3.05%
  • 10-year performance: 3.89%
  • Expense ratio: 0.79%

American Funds Strategic Bond Fund Class F-1

At least 80% of this American Funds bond fund’s assets are invested in bonds and other debt securities, which may include corporate bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The fund’s risk level is lower than average, and although its expenses are higher than average, so are its returns.

  • Year-to-date performance: -7.21%
  • 5-year performance: 4.40%
  • 10-year performance: N/A
  • Expense ratio: 0.71%

Most Established Funds With Long Track Records of High Returns

Each of the winning funds in this category has been around for at least 10 years and produced solid returns. None has an expense ratio higher than 1%.

Fidelity OTC Portfolio

This is a large growth fund that invests at least 80% of its assets in growth and value securities traded on Nasdaq or over the counter, which offers exposure to small- and medium-cap stocks. Over 25% is typically invested in the tech sector.

  • Year-to-date performance: -14.80%
  • 5-year performance: 21.87%
  • 10-year performance: 18.86%
  • Expense ratio: 0.80%

AB Large Cap Growth Fund Class A

This fund invests mostly in large blue chips with growth potential in their sectors. Although it lost more value than most other funds in this roundup, it has among the highest returns over the longer term.

  • Year-to-date performance: -15.28%
  • 5-year performance: 19.68%
  • 10-year performance: 17%
  • Expense ratio: 0.84%

T. Rowe Price Global Stock Fund

This fund focuses on long-term capital growth and invests mostly in common stocks of established companies in at least five countries, including the U.S. Its top three holdings currently are Amazon, Charles Schwab and UnitedHealth Group.

  • Year-to-date performance: -13.20%
  • 5-year performance: 18.25%
  • 10-year performance: 15.04%
  • Expense ratio: 78%

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 year-to-date return, but also five-year, 10-year and lifetime appreciation.

What To Consider When Choosing a Mutual Fund

There’s no surefire way to pick winning mutual funds, but you can maximize your chances of achieving the right balance between growth and risk. If you’re early in your career and have many years before retirement, for example, you might choose funds that invest in riskier small-cap stocks with the potential to produce outsize returns. If you’re closer to retirement, on the other hand, you might opt for less risky funds, like those that invest in Treasury bonds or large-cap stocks, despite their generally smaller returns.

Some mutual funds, called target funds, select a mix of securities based on a target retirement date. Over time, and as that target date approaches, the fund managers rebalance the mix of assets to reduce risk. 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.

John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of April 22, 2022, and subject to change.

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

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

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