According to Standard & Poor’s database of over 15,000 domestic mutual funds, the ten largest funds gained an average of 29% in 2003, narrowly beating the S&P 500-stock index’s 28.7% return.
Of the five funds that bested the index in 2003, the best performer was the $26.7-billion Fidelity Low Priced Stock with a 40.9% annual return. Fidelity’s Low Priced Stock Fund is the only small-cap fund found among the ten largest domestic equity funds. The fund normally invests 80% of its assets in low-priced stocks – priced at or below $35 per share – which generally leads to investments in small- and medium-sized companies.
The Growth Fund of America also had a strong year. The fifth largest domestic equity fund returned 32.90% in 2003, and has outperformed the S&P 500 four out of the last five years.
For the three-year period through year-end 2003, nine out of the ten largest funds outperformed the S&P 500 with an average annualized return of 5.3% versus 4.1% for the index. For the ten-year period through last year, six funds outpaced the index with an average annualized return of 1.2%.
The ten largest domestic equity funds with their investment style, one-year return and total net assets follows:
- Vanguard 500 Index/Inv, Large-Cap Blend, 28.5%, $75.34 billion
- Fidelity Magellan, Large-Cap Blend, 24.8%, $68 billion
- Investment Company of America Fund/A, Large-Cap Value, 26.3%, $58.35 billion
- Washington Mutual Investors Fund/A, Large-Cap Value, 25.8%, $55.58 billion
- Growth Fund of America/A, Large-Cap Growth, 32.9%, $48.07 billion
- Fidelity Contrafund, Large-Cap Growth, 28%, $36.05 billion
- Fidelity Growth & Income, Large-Cap Blend, 19%, $30.57 billion
- Dodge & Cox Stock Fund, Large-Cap Value, 32.3%, $29.44 billion
- Fidelity Low Priced Stock, Small-Cap Value, 40.9%, $26.73 billion
- Vanguard Total Stock Market Index/Inv, Large-Cap Blend, 31.4%, $24.06 billion.