Top 5 Brokerage Firms for Mutual Funds Investment

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There are many options to invest in mutual funds nowadays. Investors can choose either a discount broker or mutual fund companies to invest. There are pros and cons with each option. Some of the top brokerages for mutual fund investing are: Vanguard, Fidelity, Scottrade, etc.

Best Mutual Fund Brokerages

Whether you are investing in your regular brokerage account or retirement account, you may find mutual funds as your investment selection. To invest in these investment funds, regular investors can open a brokerage account or a mutual fund account directly from mutual fund companies.

For brokerage account, you can choose either open an account with a discount broker or a full brokerage. I’ll focus on discount brokers; hence they are accessible to most small investors. Several discount brokerages (such as Zecco Trading, Scottrade, E*trade) offer some great selections of mutual funds with low cost to purchase. You may also find a discount broker that offers no-transaction fee mutual funds.

Another alternative is by opening an account directly with the mutual fund company itself. Some of the well-known mutual funds companies are Fidelity, Vanguard, and T. Rowe Price, etc. Vanguard and Fidelity are the best ranked mutual funds companies in the U.S. These mutual funds companies also offer great selection of their fund family at low cost and no transaction fee. It also provides other crucial fund information such as performance, rating, expense fee, fund research, newsletter, etc.

Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX) Investor Shares

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Vanguard Total International Stock Index fund is part of Vanguard index mutual funds. This international stock mutual fund are popular among investors. You can find the fund review below.

Vanguard Total International Stock Index Investor (Ticker: VGTSX)

The investment aim of Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index fund is to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States. This Vanguard fund is designed to track the performance of the MSCI All Country World ex USA Investable Market Index. The index includes more than 6,000 stocks of companies located in 44 countries.

Fund Profile

  • Fund Inception Date: April 29, 1996
  • Ticker Symbol: VGTSX
  • CUSIP: 921909602
  • Beta (3yr): 1.05
  • Rank in category (YTD): 25%
  • Category: Foreign Large Blend
  • Yield: 2.62%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 0.22%
  • Net Assets: $ 270.60 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 9 years

Top 10 Best Mid Cap Domestic Stock Mutual Funds 2012

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Investing in mid cap mutual funds are known as “sweet spot” investment. Investor can participate in companies business with market cap between $2 billion and $10 billion. Some of the best mid cap stock mutual funds are: Scout Mid Cap, Brown Capital Management Mid-Cap, ING Mid Cap Opportunities, etc.


As part of stock mutual fund, domestic stock fund has three main categories such as large cap fund, mid cap fund, and small cap fund. Each category invests in different type of companies. For example, mid cap stock fund invest mainly in medium sized companies. These medium sized companies mean the companies have a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion.

Depending upon the fund’s objective, some mutual funds may invest in other companies’ sizes. The reasons to invest in these mid cap stock mutual funds are: these equity funds have higher growth potential than large cap mutual funds, less coverage from analysts which can provide a surprise upside, and less risky than small cap mutual funds.

Brown Capital Management Small Company Inv BCSIX Fund

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Investing in the small growth mutual fund has been very rewarding for investor. As part of growth fund, this mutual fund mainly invests in small cap company with high growth potential. One of the best small growth funds is Brown Capital Management Small Company fund. You will find the fund review below.

Brown Capital Management Small Company Investor (BCSIX)

The Brown Capital Management Small Company fund objective is to achieve long-term capital appreciation and providing current income. This mutual fund mostly invests its assets in companies stocks with total operating revenues of $250 million or less. It usually invests in common stocks, but may invest in preferred stocks, convertible bonds, and warrants.

Top 10 Best World Stock Mutual Funds 2012

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Investing in world stock mutual fund is important for investor to participate in global expansion. Some of the best world stock mutual funds are: Nuveen Tradewinds Global All-Cap fund, Royce Global Select fund, Royce Global Value fund, etc.


Since 2000, big or small companies has prepared for globalization. Over the years, business operations and investment are moving throughout this world. International stock markets have managed to hold greater prominence and account for half of the world’s market capitalization.

To invest in these international stocks, investors can choose several ways such as individual stock, mutual fund, closed end fund, and exchange traded fund. Selecting individual companies stocks may be difficult for regular investors. Choosing mutual fund, investor can get diversification and reduce risk.

One of the popular international stock mutual fund categories is world stock fund. This world stock mutual fund invests in U.S. and Non-U.S. companies stocks.

Top Rated World Stock Funds

These world stock mutual funds are ranked based on its long term performance. You may find other fund review information such as fund management, dividend yield, sales load, expense ratio fee, top holding, top sectors, etc.

Harbor Capital Appreciation Investor (HCAIX) Fund

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Harbor Capital Appreciation fund is part of domestic stock mutual fund. This US stock fund is classified as large growth mutual funds. This popular fund is managed by Spiros Segalas. More fund review can be found below.

Harbor Capital Appreciation Investor (HCAIX)

The investment aim of Harbor Capital Appreciation fund is o provide long-term capital growth. This stock mutual fund invests mainly in growth equity securities of U.S. companies with market capitalizations of more than $1 billion. It may invest in common stocks and preferred stocks. This HCAIX fund may invest small part of its total assets (<20%) in the securities of foreign issuers including emerging markets.

Calamos Convertible A (CCVIX) Fund

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If you are unsure whether to invest in bond or stock mutual fund, you should consider convertible bond mutual fund. Convertible bond is a type of bond that the investor can convert into shares of company’s common stock at agreed-upon price. It also provides regular income stream. Using mutual fund, investor can easily diversify its choice in these convertible securities. One of the top rated convertible mutual funds is Calamos Convertible fund.

Calamos Convertible A (MUTF: CCVIX)

The Calamos Convertible fund’s objective is to provide current income. Its secondary objective is to provide growth. This mutual fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of convertible securities issued by both U.S. and foreign companies. It may invest in any market capitalization companies. The average maturity of the convertible securities purchased will usually range from 2 to 10 years.

Fund Profile
  • Fund Inception Date: June 21, 1985
  • Ticker Symbol: CCVIX
  • CUSIP: 128119401
  • Beta (3yr): 0.99
  • Rank in category (YTD): 79%
  • Category: Convertibles
  • Yield: 1.17%

Top 10 Best Inflation Protected Bond Mutual Funds 2012

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Inflation protected bond are another important fixed income tool for investor to diversify their investment portfolio. Using mutual fund, investor can instantly provide asset diversification and reduce risk. Some of the best inflation protected bond funds are: DFA Inflation-Protected Securities I, American Independence US Inflation-Indexed A, PIMCO Real Return A, etc.

Top Inflation Protected Bond Funds

Inflation protected bond fund is a mutual fund which mainly invests in US or foreign securities inflation protected securities. In the U.S., this inflation protected obligation securities is known as TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities). This TIPS bond is introduced by US government in 1997.

Many investment advisers are endorsing TIPS, both for their safety and because of widespread concern about the inflationary implications of record government deficits. These inflation protected bond funds can be used as a tool to provide real return of your investment asset. They are typically also less volatile than stock funds.

First Eagle US Value Fund (FEVAX) Class A

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First Eagle US Value fund is one top rated US stock mutual funds. As of January 2012, this large blend stock mutual fund has Gold bullion as its top holding. More fund review can be found as follow.

First Eagle US Value A (FEVAX)

The First Eagle US Value fund seeks long-term capital growth. This US fund mainly invests majority of assets (>80%) in domestic equity and debt securities. It may invest small part of its asset in non-U.S. issuers. This large blend fund may invest in any size company, including large, medium and smaller companies. It may invest in fixed-income securities, short-term debt instruments, gold and other precious metals.

Fund Details
First Eagle US Value A fund
  • Inception Date: 09/04/2001
  • Ticker Symbol: FEVAX
  • CUSIP: 32008F887
  • Beta (3yr): 0.66
  • Rank in category (YTD): 89%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Distribution: 0.81%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.18%  
  • Net Assets: $ 2.37 billion
  • Number of Years Up: 8 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 19.54%
Updated on 4/16/2012

Top 10 Best Government Bond Mutual Funds 2012

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Bond mutual funds can be attractive for income seeking investors. There are various bond mutual funds. One of the safest bond funds is government bond mutual funds. Some of the best government bond mutual funds are: Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury, PIMCO Long-Term US Government A, T. Rowe Price US Treasury Long-Term, etc. More fund review can be found below.


There are two major types of bond mutual funds. They are government bond funds and corporate bond funds. These bond funds can be either U.S. bond funds or foreign bond funds. Government bond mutual funds are considered to be the safest class of investments in this fixed income fund category. These funds mostly hold a portfolio of securities issued by the US Treasury and other government agencies. These government bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.

Compare to corporate bond funds, these government bond funds have low yields hence the associated risk is also much smaller. In addition, many of these fixed incomes are exempt from state and local taxes. Using mutual funds, investor can get a well-diversified portfolio and significantly reduce the risk associated with their investment.

Best Government Bond Mutual Funds

The following best performing mutual funds are sorted based on its long term performance. You can also find other fund review information such as: fund management, yield, expense ratio, investment objective, top sector, performance, etc.

ING Value Choice Fund (PAVAX) Class A

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There are three types of large cap US stock mutual funds: large blend, large value, and large growth. Large Blend funds returns are often similar to those of the S&P 500 Index. One of the top large blend stock mutual funds is ING Value Choice fund. You can find the review below.

ING Value Choice A (PAVAX)

The investment aim of ING Value Choice fund is to achieve long-term capital appreciation. This U.S. stock fund invests mainly in undervalued equity securities of companies with varying market capitalizations of any size. It may invest include common and preferred stocks, depositary receipts, and convertible securities.

Fund Details
  • Fund Inception Date: 02/01/2005
  • Ticker Symbol: PAVAX
  • CUSIP: 44980Q708
  • Beta (3yr): 0.85
  • Rank in category (YTD): 8%
  • Category: Large Blend
  • Yield: 0.76%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.39%
  • Net Assets: $ 832.83 million
  • Number of Years Up: 4 years
  • Number of Years Down: 2 years
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 66%
Updated on 4/10/2012

Top 6 Best Health Sector Stock Mutual Funds 2012

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One of the defensive sector mutual funds is health sector. Investing in these health mutual funds provides a chance for investor to protect their portfolio during good or bad market conditions. Some of the best health mutual funds are: T. Rowe Price Health Sciences, Prudential Jennison Health Sciences A, Fidelity Select Biotechnology, etc.

Health Sector Funds

Investors often rest on on the healthcare sector to defend their valuable investments during a bad market environment. Healthcare and related services continue in demand during difficult market conditions and are a safe haven in difficult times. Several pharmaceutical industries also distribute regular dividends, which help in combating losses from falling stock values.

Choosing health mutual funds are the right selection for investors looking to enter this sector. There is other investment funds can be used as well such as exchange traded funds (ETFs), and closed end funds (CEFs).

Best Health Mutual Funds

Selecting the best health mutual funds is done by looking into the fund long term performance. You will also find other fund review such as fund’s manager, sales load, expense ratio, dividend yield, top holding, Morningstar rating, etc.

Top 6 Best Currency Mutual Funds 2012

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Investing in local (USD) or foreign currencies can be done not only through forex account. Investors can also choose various investment funds such as mutual funds and exchange traded funds to invest in this sector. Some of the best currency mutual funds are: Merk Hard Currency Investor, Franklin Templeton Hard Currency A, PIMCO Emerging Markets Currency A, etc.


As we know, the currency market is the largest and the most liquid market in the world. If you have always wanted to invest in the Forex, or the currency market, forex account is not the only place for investment. There are various alternatives available through investment funds.

Top 6 Best Currency Mutual Funds 2012Foreign currency mutual funds are appropriate for any investors who wish to venture on a currency and who would like to hedge a currency. If you know about mutual funds, you may be surprise to learn that there are various foreign currency mutual funds. Investors are also taking on the added risk on the currency’s exchange rate by investing in currency mutual funds.

Currency mutual funds objective is to track the value of a currency against another currency, minus the management fees or expense ratio fees. Most currency mutual funds track a currency against the US Dollar (US$ or USD). If you are an American and decide to invest in the emerging markets, you could invest in an emerging markets local currency mutual fund. You may also invest in other currency mutual funds.

WHV International Equity A Fund (WHVAX)

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WHV International Equity fund is one of top ranked foreign large blend stock mutual funds. Considered as international stock mutual funds, this WHVAX fund invests mainly in non US companies with growth potential. More review can be found below.

WHV International Equity A (WHVAX)

The WHV International Equity fund seeks to achieve long-term capital growth. This mutual fund generally invests in a combination of equity securities of foreign companies with a potential for earnings growth. This stock fund may focus its investments in specific sectors or industries and may not have exposure to all economic sectors.

Fund Profile
  • Inception Date: 07/31/2009
  • Ticker Symbol: WHVAX
  • CUSIP: 360873871
  • Beta (3yr): 1.09
  • Rank in category (YTD): 14%
  • Category: Foreign Large Blend
  • Yield: 0.18%
  • Capital Gains: 0%
  • Expense Ratio: 1.50%
  • Net Assets: $ 274.86 million
  • Number of Years Up: 1 year
  • Number of Years Down: 1 year
  • Annual Turnover Rate: 2.2%
Updated on 3/23/2012

Top 8 Best Energy Sector Equity Mutual Funds 2012

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Mutual funds investing in energy sector have shown tremendous long term prospects and should be part of any diversified portfolios. Some of the best energy equity mutual funds are: Invesco Energy Investor, Waddell & Reed Energy A, Ivy Energy A, Vanguard Energy Inv, etc.


The last five years, energy sector equity mutual funds have outperformed the next closest US domestic equity fund category by a huge margin. Most of this success is attributable to the oil and natural gas sectors. As part of non-renewable energy, the fast depleting reserves coupled with rising demand have headed to a solid increase in both commodity and stock prices. By investing in Energy mutual funds, investor can greatly reduce the risk involved in investing in this sector because they hold widely diversified portfolios.

Top Energy Stock Mutual Funds

These best equity energy funds are ranked based on its long term performance. You will find some of the fund review from this article: Other information about these energy sector stock funds are: management, sales load, yield, annual holding turnover, initial investment, total net assets, fund objective, top stocks, etc.

Best Global Real Estate Equity Mutual Funds 2012

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As part of diversified portfolio component, real estate plays an important role in investment world. Investing in global real estate mutual funds is one of the smart ideas for investor to achieve better goals. The best global REIT mutual funds include: Invesco Global Real Estate Income A, Prudential Global Real Estate A, Cohen & Steers Emerging Markets Real Estate, etc.

Global Real Estate Funds

Best Global Real Estate Equity Mutual Funds 2012Investing in real estate sector can be done through several vehicles. Investor can buy real estate asset by purchasing a house or rental house. The other alternative is by purchasing investment funds such as mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and closed end funds (CEFs). Using these investment funds, investor can easily diversify his/her portfolio. This article will focus on real estate mutual funds especially global real estate mutual funds.

There are two types of real estate mutual funds or REIT funds such as US real estate mutual funds and global real estate mutual funds. Global real estate mutual funds invest mainly in non-U.S. real estate securities, however it may also invest in U.S. real estate stocks / bonds. This global REIT funds may purchase debt and equity securities, convertible securities, and other real estate investment trusts (REITs) entities.