Money 70: The best mutual funds you can buy

Money 70: The best mutual funds you can buy

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Money Magazine’s list of recommended funds is not about aiming for the highest short-term returns. Our lineup is designed to let you build a well-balanced portfolio that will help you reach your most important financial goals, like putting your kids through college, starting a business or achieving a comfortable retirement.

We focus on criteria that have real predictive value: low expenses, a strong record for putting share-holder interests first, a consistent investment strategy and experienced managers.

A fund that meets our standards typically ends up delivering above-average returns – over the past five years, 73 percent of the actively managed funds on our roster outperformed their category average. Even in 2007’s difficult market, 57 percent delivered returns that rank in the top half of their category.

The Money 70 is designed to help you construct all aspects of your portfolio. It includes a range of actively managed stock and bond funds, as well as low-cost index and exchange-traded funds. Or you can put your investments on cruise control with one of our target-date retirement portfolios, which give you a preset mix of funds that automatically becomes more conservative as you near retirement.

See more on how we picked the funds and what changes we’ve made since last year.

Ticker Fund name 1-yr
return
3-yr
return
5-yr
return
Exp.
ratio
Min.
inv.
Style
LARGE-CAP
FSMKX Fidelity Spartan 500 Index Investor -6.8% 7.5% 9.7% 0.1% $10,000 Blend
FSTMX Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index Inv -6.3% 8.3% 10.8% 0.1% $10,000 Blend
VFINX Vanguard 500 Index -6.8% 7.4% 9.6% 0.1% $3,000 Blend
VTSMX Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx -6.3% 8.2% 10.7% 0.1% $3,000 Blend
MIDCAP
VIMSX Vanguard Mid Capitalization Index -6.5% 10.6% 14.9% 0.2% $3,000 Blend
SMALL-CAP
NAESX Vanguard Small Cap Index -8.2% 9.1% 14.1% 0.2% $3,000 Blend
SPECIALTY
VGSIX Vanguard REIT Index -12.4% 10.5% 16.9% 0.2% $3,000 Real estate
FOREIGN
FSIIX Fidelity Spartan International Index Inv -2.3% 16.9% 19.1% 0.1% $10,000 Blend
VEIEX Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx 21.3% 31.9% 33.6% 0.4% $3,000 Emerging markets
VGTSX Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index 1.6% 19.1% 21.2% 0.0% $3,000 Blend
BOND
VBISX Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index 7.1% 4.5% 3.2% 0.2% $3,000 Bonds
VBMFX Vanguard Total Bond Market Index 6.4% 4.1% 3.7% 0.2% $3,000 Bonds
Data as of: May 30, 2008
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