Best Mutual Funds To Invest In Now: 12 Top Performers

man reviewing portfolio of mutual funds

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.

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.

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 an 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.

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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 December 2021:

Fund Name and Symbol Fund Performance (Year-to-Date Return) Gross Expense Ratio
Columbia Global Technology Growth Fund Class A (CTCAX) 23.17% 1.22%
T. Rowe Price U.S. Equity Research Fund (PRCOX) 26.99% 0.43%
Calvert US Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund Class A (CSXAX) 24.47% 0.60%
Janus Henderson Forty Fund Class T (JACTX) 23.13% 0.92%
Thrivent Small Cap Stock Fund Class S (TSCSX) 22.64% 0.84%
AB Large Cap Growth Fund Class A (APGAX) 28.10% 0.84%
Putnam Large Cap Value Fund Class A (PEYAX) 24.84% 0.90%
Victory RS Global Fund Class A (RSGGX) 21.38% 1.22%
JPMorgan U.S. Equity Fund Class A (JUEAX) 27.46% 0.98%
Neuberger Berman Large Cap Value Fund Trust Class (NBPTX) 26.53% 1.04%
Fuller & Thaler Behavioral Small-Cap Equity Fund Investor Shares (FTHNX) 28.43% 1.09%
Diamond Hill All Cap Select Fund Investor Share (DHTAX) 30.86% 1.16%
Data is accurate as of Dec. 26, 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.

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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 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 Dec. 26, 2021, and subject to change.

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

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

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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