IBD Unveils Best Mutual Funds for 2021

Sixth annual list highlights select funds that consistently beat benchmarks over the last decade, even amid unprecedented circumstances

LOS ANGELES--()--Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), a leading financial news and research organization, today announced the results of its sixth annual Best Mutual Funds Awards. Funds named to the prestigious list were selected because they beat the broad market and surpassed benchmarks over the last one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods, a significant accomplishment for any fund. That feat becomes all the more impressive when factoring in the market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In all, 810 companies -- 24% of all funds at least 10 years old -- beat their respective benchmarks across all four periods.

“The Best Mutual Funds list is one of our most popular compilations each year because it helps investors find funds that have outperformed over the short, mid and long term, despite substantial changes in market climates,” said Susan Warfel, managing editor of IBD. “While consistently beating benchmarks over multiple timeframes is impressive for any fund, this year’s winners also had to contend with the instability created by a global pandemic. Their accomplishments are truly commendable.”

IBD’s data-driven list showcases a variety of top-performing mutual funds across the major categories that investors consider for broad market exposure or more narrow objectives. The 2021 list spans the same 13 categories as 2020. These include U.S. Diversified Stock Funds and its six subcategories: Growth Funds, Blend Funds, Value Funds, Large-Cap Funds, Midcap Funds, and Small-Cap Funds. No Value Funds made the 2021 list for the fourth consecutive year.

Other categories are Sector Funds, International Stock Funds, U.S. Taxable Bond Funds, Municipal Bond Funds, International Bond Funds, and Index Funds.

This year’s winners were drawn from a universe of 3,368 mutual funds in operation for at least 10 years. Altogether, 810 awards were earned by funds that beat their performance benchmark across all four periods evaluated, up from 691 in 2020 and 357 in 2019.

With 307 award winners out of 506 eligible funds (61%), growth stock mutual funds performed particularly well. International stocks were not far behind, with 279 awards, or 48% of that group's 585 funds, taking away awards. Five other categories yielded winners from at least 20% of eligible funds. These included Large-Cap and Midcap Funds (26% each), U.S. Diversified Stock Funds (25%), and Small-Cap Stock Funds and U.S. Taxable Bond Funds (21% each).

Baron Partners Retail, Morgan Stanley Insight I, Morgan Stanley Institutional Growth I, and Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth I were among the top award getters in multiple categories. Notably, Baron Partners Retail yielded a 23.71% average annual gain over the decade that ended on December 31, 2020. That was the best 10-year pace by any award winner. It closed the 10-year period with a 148.52% total return in 2020 alone. The only fund on the Best Mutual Funds list that exceeded that 2020 gain was the 150.57% bounce by Morgan Stanley Institutional Inception I. That fund was a top-five performer in the Best Small-Cap Stock Funds group.

Top Award Winners in Each Category:

U.S. Diversified Stock Funds:

  • Baron Partners Retail
  • Morgan Stanley Insight I
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Growth I
  • Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth I
  • Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative Gr Stk A

Growth Funds:

  • Baron Partners Retail
  • Morgan Stanley Insight I
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Growth I
  • Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth I
  • Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative Gr Stk A

Blend Funds:

  • PIMCO StocksPLUS Absolute Return Instl
  • GMO Quality IV
  • CIBC Atlas Disciplined Equity Instl
  • Johnson Enhanced Return
  • JPMorgan US Equity L

Large-Cap Funds:

  • Morgan Stanley Insight I
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Growth I
  • Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative Gr Stk A
  • Transamerica Capital Growth A
  • Fidelity Advisor Growth Opps M

Mid-Cap Funds:

  • Baron Partners Retail
  • T. Rowe Price New Horizons
  • Delaware Smid Cap Growth A
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Discovery I
  • Eventide Gilead N

Small-Cap Funds:

  • Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth I
  • Lord Abbett Micro Cap Growth I
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Inception I
  • Wasatch Ultra Growth
  • Artisan Small Cap Investor

Sector Funds:

  • T. Rowe Price Global Technology
  • Fidelity Select Retailing
  • T. Rowe Price Comm & Tech Investor
  • Fidelity Select Medical Tech and Devcs
  • Baron Real Estate Institutional

International Stock Funds:

  • Morgan Stanley Inst Global Advtg I
  • Morgan Stanley Inst Global Opp I
  • T. Rowe Price Global Stock
  • Seven Canyons World Innovators Investor
  • Sands Capital Global Growth Inst

U.S. Taxable Bond Funds:

  • Virtus AllianzGI Convertible Institutional
  • Franklin Convertible Securities A
  • Lord Abbett Convertible I
  • Columbia Convertible Securities A
  • PIMCO Extended Duration Instl

Municipal Bond Funds:

  • Invesco Rochester Municipal Opps A
  • Invesco AMT-Free Municipal A
  • Nuveen CA High Yield Municipal Bond I
  • MainStay MacKay High Yield Muncpl Bd I
  • Invesco California Mncpl A

International Bond Funds:

  • PGIM Global Total Return A
  • BrandywineGLOBAL Global Opp Bond IS
  • Federated Hermes Intl Bond Strategy
  • AMG GW&K High Income N
  • JHancock Opportunistic Fixed Inc. 1

Index Funds:

  • Shelton Nasdaq-100 Index Direct
  • VALIC Company I NASDAQ-100 Index
  • USAA NASDAQ-100 Index
  • Rydex NASDAQ-100 Inv
  • Fidelity NASDAQ Composite Index

Funds are ranked according to their 10-year performance.

To find out more about this year’s winners, read analysis of the respective categories, view the complete list of winning funds, and learn how to invest in mutual funds, please visit www.investors.com/MutualFundsAwards and follow #BestMutualFundsAwards on social media.

The 2021 Best Mutual Funds logo and accolades are available for licensing through Investor's Business Daily's partner, The YGS Group. For more information and ordering, please visit www.IBDlicensing.com or call 800-290-5460.

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Contacts

For Editorial Contact:
Carmen Mantalas
GMK Communications for Investor’s Business Daily
Carmen@gmkcommunications.com

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Contacts

For Editorial Contact:
Carmen Mantalas
GMK Communications for Investor’s Business Daily
Carmen@gmkcommunications.com