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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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25 best mutual funds of all time Oct 2019

Healthcare and tech funds dominate.

Vanguard health care #3. Wish they offered it in 529 college plan.
Does anyone have the Wasatch Micro-cap fund?

Which funds do you still like from the list?

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T041-S001-the-25-best-mutual-funds-of-all-time/index.html
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Comments

  • edited January 19
    It appears that the Kiplinger article focuses only on "returns" over periods of time, with little consideration of "risk" in generating those returns. Over time, I have had to continually assess the amount of "risk" I am willing to take, to generate the "returns" I am willing to make. As an older retired investor, who have no other sources of income, besides meager SS payments, I have to keep my principal reasonably liquid and protected, and not take "unnecessary" risks to achieve my current portfolio objectives. So for me, I don't look at the highest total return funds in varying periods, but instead I look at funds that will achieve my personal return objectives, with an acceptable level of risk at my age. That will vary with each investor's objectives, but it seems ridiculous to ignore risk in selecting mutual funds for ones portfolio.
  • edited January 20
    Thanks for sharing @equalizer.

    For the price, I’m impressed with some of the things Kiplingers does. Can’t compete with Barron’s of course. Two different leagues. (And it’s easy to access Kiplingers free online.) If anyone’s interested in the print edition, Kiplingers’ site offers it at $19.95 for a year (12 copies). https://personalfinance.kiplinger.com/pcd/Order?iKey=I**W03. Amazon is offering one-year print for $23.95. https://www.amazon.com/Kiplingers-Personal-Finance/dp/B008YJXZLK.

    Don’t know if the above offers auto-renew at a higher price - but likely. Amazon’s good at allowing cancellation of subscriptions thru their website. Don’t know about Kiplingers. In the past I’ve had a lot of trouble getting some publishers to stop auto-renew / quit billing my card. Hope this doesn’t come across as a sales pitch. Just trying to share some useful information. Recently subscribed to the Kindle edition - and for $1 monthly (ad-free), quite happy to receive it.

    As for the list of funds - an impressive lot. I’m sure many here own some of them. However, I’m not about to dump my much more conservative bunch (suitable for mid-late retirement) to load-up on these high flyers. Brings to mind the old, “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” .

    Wonder how many of these are closed to new investors anyway or have high minimums?
  • I own WMICX in taxable account for many years. Only in the last several years has the fund turned around and been on a tear. Expenses are high on most of their funds.

    I have several of the funds listed in taxable and non-taxable accounts.
  • @hank, I subscribed to Kiplinger for a longtime, maybe 30 years, and it was always pay a year or 2 or 3 upfront for the subscription and then it ended. They would send warnings that your subscription was ending and offered preferred pricing before it ended, but never carried it over without your ok. Price was always in the $10-15 per year range over that whole time. They raised it to $20 this year and I opted out. Can't blame them. Even at $20/year they still must be losing money. But, I started subscribing to Barrons this summer and decided I didn't need both. As you said, Kips isn't in the same league as Barrons. Take care and enjoy the magazine.

  • Such articles look very good at top of bull market. Why did this not get published in 2008-2009 or 2002?
  • edited January 20
    @MikeM - I’d call Kiplingers mostly good “financial porn“. Nothing deep or actionable. Just a light read. I actually went with Amazon’s Kiplingers offer today thinking it would be nice to have some print copies lying around the house in addition to the constant stream of news & info on the tablet. In fairness to Kips, I believe they do have some good common sense suggestions for homeowners, consumers and the like.

    Agree that Barron’s really has a lot of substance in it. But after subscribing / reading it for a couple years, I’d had my fill. And it’s not cheap (unless they send you the occasional $96 “new subscriber” promotional offer).
  • Hi @dtconroe

    As to the Kiplinger list; and your notation, " Over time, I have had to continually assess the amount of "risk" I am willing to take, to generate the "returns" I am willing to make." Yes, we all have to assess our risk based upon many factors.

    I'm only aware of the age range of a few here at MFO; but attempt to consider the age ranges of those who may only read here and never comment. So, I consider this thread to have more value for some age groups and their risk assessments, versus others.

    My only particular problem with the list, is the inclusion of "front load" funds; although many of these are available at some platforms without the load. Past this, I'm not going to challenge the list, nor other sector candidates that probably, "almost" made the list.

    From a personal point for our household investments, our backgrounds are in tech. and healthcare; and from this exposure in particular, we were in a constant continuing education mode, as both areas were and continue to be, in full and never ending change.
    Our investment slant has always had focus to these two growth sectors in particular; with exceptions being limited by choices via an employer offering. Yes, these areas have their quiet, lazy and sideways periods.

    Overall, we still prefer growth to other investment styles; although the "risk" of a potential bigger face slap from a market pullback is present, due in part, to the larger potential gains obtained with these types of holdings.

    Your point regarding risk is always valid, relative to investor "X's" overall financial circumstance.

    For the young ones today, with what ever amount they can dedicate into company plans and/or a Roth, go full ahead with growth in favored sectors or broad-based. Their young age will allow them to survive a market melt/mean reversion, as their investment friend will be compounding with time in the markets and ability to continue to contribute monies going forward.

    As always, remain curious in life,
    Catch
  • edited January 19
    dtconroe said:

    It appears that the Kiplinger article focuses only on "returns" over periods of time, with little consideration of "risk" in generating those returns

    A valid point. That was my initial thought too. “Eye candy.” But Kips did lay it out very nicely I thought. I appreciated seeing the inception dates. The only one I ever owned was PRMTX for a short while.
  • Such articles look very good at top of bull market. Why did this not get published in 2008-2009 or 2002?

    Top of the bull market? Are you kidding? We're about 1/3 the way through it. This a Wave 3 Supercycle which will last another 15 years.

    A correction is coming very soon. It will be a superb buying opportunity to load up on growth funds for the coming decade. But it will be fast and furious so have your cash ready.

  • a journo friend reports

    Kiplinger was bought by a PE firm last January, and line eds, factcheckers and other recent hires, features and investigative, eventually got chopped. It will be surprising if the print edition lasts a year.
  • edited January 20

    a journo friend reports

    Kiplinger was bought by a PE firm last January, and line eds, factcheckers and other recent hires, features and investigative, eventually got chopped. It will be surprising if the print edition lasts a year.

    This got me curious who was doing the chopping. Kiplinger's was bought by Dennis Publishing, a British firm that was bought by Exponent, a British venture capital operation.

    More about Dennis and Exponent at the dinky linky.

    And here's Exponent's home page.

    Buying Kiplinger's seems like an odd choice for what I'm guessing is the first foray into the USA for Dennis and Exponent.
  • edited January 20

    “It will be surprising if the print edition lasts a year”

    @davidrmoran. Thanks. Based on that, I’ve cancelled my new subscription to Kiplingers print and will reinvest the $23.95 in a bottle of Cutty Sark - selling for about the same price here in Michigan. That’s a pretty pedestrian brand. Nothing special. As with magazine subscriptions - there’s not a whole lot available in scotch in the $20-$25 price range.
  • edited January 20
    @Simon No I am not kidding. Markets are at all time highs, I'm sure you have noticed?

    And, you did not answer my question. Why didn't this article get published on the dates I mentioned?
  • @VintageFreak, when @Simon says the bull market will last another 15 years I believe he refers to a 'cyclical bull market'. A confusing play on words I think. There can be numerous bear markets within this cyclical bull.

    I'm with you. We are do for a "secular" bear market (a 20% or more drop) because of valuations. Whether this happens in a month or a year, it will happen. Just needs some catalyst to start the trend. I dare say a "cyclical" bull market has little meaning to a retiree or anyone within 5-10 years of retirement. 20% pull backs are what people worry about when you use your savings for income or are planning on a retirement date. IMHO
  • hank said:

    “It will be surprising if the print edition lasts a year”

    @davidrmoran. Thanks. Based on that, I’ve cancelled my new subscription to Kipplingers print and will reinvest the $23.95 in a bottle of Cutty Sark - selling for about the same price here in Michigan. That’s a pretty pedestrian brand. Nothing special. As with magazine subscriptions - there’s not a whole lot available in scotch in the $20-$25 price range.
    I like cutty fine, the poor man's J&B, light, sweet, only with a bit more cerealy note, as befits michigan perhaps

    do try old smuggler if you can find it there, the very best of the value blends, also, for a little bit more money, duggan's dew, another light sweet high-value highland-oriented blend
  • I dropped Money magazine and Kiplinger's after I got more experience and learned the hard way that most of their "where to invest your money NOW" articles were 3 to 6 months too late.

    The one Kiplingers publication I have found worthwhile is Investing for Income. It costs a lot more about $200 a year but has some decent ideas about income vehicles. It is rather static as the portfolio has not changed much over the years. It is rather risky for an income portfolio but I think it's audience is people who need 7% a year.

    Some of the recommendations the editor has ridden all the way down as he included a number of small energy companies that almost went bankrupt. Using stop losses would improve his results significantly.

    Worth a look.
  • "I dare say a "cyclical" bull market has little meaning to a retiree or anyone within 5-10 years of retirement. 20% pull backs are what people worry about when you use your savings for income or are planning on a retirement date."
    @MikeM- This "cyclical bull market" concept with major unspecified pull-backs strikes me as so much baloney. Viewed from that perspective, there has never been anything other than a "cyclical bull market", as long as you adjust the time frame to whatever you need to make that appear to be true.

  • edited January 20
    In self defense, I don’t think anybody expects to unearth brilliant investment opportunities by subscribing to a magazine priced at $1 a month (web-based) and under $2 a month mailed to your home. Hello?

    My interest in the magazine is for entertainment value. As one who seldom trades, I just find financial stuff highly interesting. That’s all. Sorta like one doesn’t have to be planning a vacation on Mars to enjoy reading astronomy. :)
  • edited January 21
    I would be even leerier of the content found in a $100 or $200 per month subscription
  • Seems like most of the funds on this list invest in sectors. I personally wouldn’t want a large percentage of my portfolio in sector funds, despite their past performance. So that would involve rebalancing unless you didn’t mind having a large percentage of your portfolio in a few sectors. Sector funds also tend to be more volatile and can go out of style for long periods— such as energy the past 10 years or technology in the early 2000s.
  • edited January 21
    With respect to our community's various posting efforts, I'm getting sick of these "Best ETF/Funds"-types of articles. What works for one person or one type of market situationmay not work well for others, but finpr0n articles like this don't make that distinction too often, or clearly.
  • edited January 21
    rforno said:

    but finpr0n articles like this don't make that distinction too often, or clearly.

    Sad but true. Sundays (when this went up) tend to be “lighter” reading days. That said - the article is badly (and misleadingly) titled. Being perhaps the “hottest”, “juiciest”, or “fastest moving” funds of the past few decades in no way makes them the “best.” I think readers here are smart enough to figure that out on their own.

    I’d liken reading this to gazing at some photos of $200,000 sports cars you’ll never own, tropical vacation spots you’ll never visit or gorgeous women (or men, as the case might be) you’ll never meet - let alone marry. I don’t see the harm in looking - especially if you’re older than 18 and presumably competent to make decisions for yourself and to discriminate between “fluff” and serious financial journalism.
    -

    I’ve rechecked to make sure @equalizer posted the title correctly. He did. The article’s author is John Waggoner. His work often appeared here and on FA when he wrote for USA Today prior to retiring several years ago. Waggoner endured his share of slings and arrows back than, as many writers do, but was by and large recognized as a serious and accomplished financial writer.

    “John Waggoner ... was a senior columnist for InvestmentNews and, prior to that, USA TODAY's personal finance columnist for 25 years. He has written for Morningstar, The Wall Street Journal, and Money magazine. Waggoner has also written three books on finance and investing. He has an undergraduate and graduate degree in English literature and is working on his Certified Financial Planner designation. He lives in Vienna, Virginia.” https://www.kiplinger.com/fronts/archive/bios/index.html?bylineID=532
  • @hank - Have you ever checked out DiscountMags.com for your magazine purchases? They don't have everything of course but I just checked for Kiplinger and it's listed at $12/12mo. I like to read National Geographic and I get it here at a greatly reduced price, more so if I buy into a lengthier subscription period. A Special today is "Discover" at $20/24-mo. Might be worth a peek.
  • @hank,
    Downsized at Kip, JWaggoner has moved on to AARP.
  • edited January 21
    :) Thanks @Mark. I’ll take a look. Already subscribe to 3X what I have time to read. Last night added an old favorite, The New Yorker magazine, to the collection.

    BTW: What limited value I see in Kiplinger’s is skimming, gazing, maybe grinning or chuckling at a few of the reads. One would likely go broke investing in the products they highlight. Even Louis Rukeyser’s old show was subject to the same type of criticism. Studies revealed that in the weeks-long run-up to each program’s “special guest” the stocks of whatever companies he / she favored would increase sharply in value as investors sought to get ahead of the game. A week or so after the show, the same stocks would typically take a steep fall.

    Cheers!
  • I own about 1/3 of these funds and also held Magellan which I sold at one point. THe only way to avoid these funds if you have invested for a long time would have been to decide that if a fund was written up it was too late to invest in. I guess I performance chased at a good time. Most of these funds have surely been written up often and I might argue on merit. Of course most are too big these for those who visit the site though I suspect a good fraction are closed to new investors because many are shareholder friendly
  • edited January 21

    @hank,
    Downsized at Kip, JWaggoner has moved on to AARP.

    I guess I won’t see him again. My monthly AARP pubs go directly into the “circular file cabinet”. :)

    However, AARP membership is on rare occasions helpful in getting a reduced rate at some hotels or car rentals and sometimes garners a slightly later than normal check-out time at Hilton branded hotels.
  • some of the articles are useful, actually
  • edited January 21
    jerry said:

    I own about 1/3 of these funds and also held Magellan which I sold at one point. THe only way to avoid these funds if you have invested for a long time would have been to decide that if a fund was written up it was too late to invest in. I guess I performance chased at a good time. Most of these funds have surely been written up often and I might argue on merit. Of course most are too big these for those who visit the site though I suspect a good fraction are closed to new investors because many are shareholder friendly

    Good points. Magellan under Lynch is legendary. Nuf said. Being largely with TRP past 25 years, I’m no stranger to PRMTX, a great fund that jumped on the technology revolution early and rode it. A good friend has owned it as long as I can remember. To my disadvantage, I’ve never fully trusted the tech sector. But I did hold PRMTX for about a year following the drubbing it took in 08. Can’t stand success. Bailed out after some crazy 25-30% gain in rapid time.

    Would guess Jerry’s success more related to being a patient long term investor rather than jumping into every high flying fund he hears of.
  • hank said:

    @hank,
    Downsized at Kip, JWaggoner has moved on to AARP.

    I guess I won’t see him again. My monthly AARP pubs go directly into the “circular file cabinet”. :)

    However, AARP membership is on rare occasions helpful in getting a reduced rate at some hotels or car rentals and sometimes garners a slightly later than normal check-out time at Hilton branded hotels.
    I always check to see if they have any old punk/new wave rockers on the cover.
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