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Top Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans: BrightScope

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BrightScope on Tuesday announced the top three mutual funds by amount of assets held in the eight investment categories most commonly offered in 401(k) retirement plans.

Vanguard and Fidelity accounted for more than half of the funds represented. Investment categories in the rankings are: allocation, alternative assets, bonds, cash/stable value, international stock, large cap, mid cap and small cap.

 “It’s not surprising to see names like Vanguard and Fidelity coming up over and over because they’re also recordkeepers in the 401(k) space. They have a natural distribution channel on the recordkeeping platform,” said Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope, in a phone interview.

Asked if the top rankings are a reflection of the funds’ quality, Herman hedged his answer.

“Quality is a hard word to comment on,” he said. “Obviously, they’re very popular, so plan sponsors and plan participants think they’re high quality.”

(See also: Top 10 Mutual Fund Firms Most Trusted by Advisors: Cogent)

BrightScope’s database covers the universe of 10,000 mutual funds that are registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission. BrightScope’s technology is designed to uncover audited financial data on investment funds held within 401(k) plans.

Check out the top three mutual funds in each of the eight categories of rankings, including metrics such as net flows, fees and one-year return.

Top Allocation Funds:

Bill McNabb, CEO and Chairman of Vanguard. (Photo: AP)

1. Vanguard Wellington

Net Assets: $88.97 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$459.0 million

Fees: 0.18% to 0.26%

Turnover: 71.0%

1-year Return: 3.00% to 3.08%

2. Fidelity Freedom 2020

Net Assets: $12.74 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$2.0 billion

Fees: N/A

Turnover: 17.0%

1-year Return: 2.84%

3. Fidelity Freedom 2030

Net Assets: $10.89 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$682.0 million

Fees: N/A

Turnover: 17.0%

1-year Return: 3.4%

Top Alternative Asset Funds:

Fidelity Investments Sign. (Photo: AP)

1. Vanguard REIT Index

Net Assets: $46.67 billion

1-year Net Flows: +$2.0 billion

Fees: 0.10% to 0.26%

Turnover: 8.0%

1-year Return: $6.68% to 6.85%

2. Fidelity Real Estate Investment

Net Assets: $4.22 billion

1-year Net Flows: +$141.0 million

Fees: 0.80%

Turnover: 24.0%

1-year Return: 8.09%

3. Invesco Real Estate

Net Assets: $2.17 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$181.0 million

Fees: 0.78% to 1.99%

Turnover: 23.0%

1-year Return: 5.54% to 6.83%

Top Bond Funds:

PIMCO Total Return Website.

1. PIMCO Total Return

Net Assets:  $102.84 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$129.0 billion

Fees: 0.46% to 1.60%

Turnover: 265%

1-year Return: 1.03% to 2.19%

2. Vanguard Total Bond Market Index

Net Assets: $144.21 billion

1-year Net Flows: +26.0 billion

Fees: 0.05% to 0.20%

Turnover: 72.0%

1-year Return: 2.08% to 2.25%

3. Fidelity Spartan US Bond Index

Net Assets: $20.27 billion

1-year Net Flows: +1.0 billion

Fees: 0.05% to 0.22%

Turnover: 85.0%

1-year Return: 2.28% to 2.46%

Top Cash/Stable Value Funds:

1. Vanguard Prime Money Market

Net Assets: $134.84 billion

1-year Net Flows: +5.0 billion

Fees: 0.10% to 0.14%

Turnover: N/A

1-year Return: 0.01% to 0.06%

2. Fidelity Retirement Money Market

Net Assets: $11.61 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$2.0 billion

Fees: 0.24%

Turnover: N/A

1-year Return: 0.01%

3. Fidelity Institutional Money Market

Net Assets: $64.99 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$27.0 million

Fees: 0.14% to 0.23%

Turnover: N/A

1-year Return: 0.01% to 0.11%

Top International Stock Funds:

(Photo: AP)

1. American Funds EuroPacific Growth

Net Assets: $131.68 billion

1-year Net Flows: +2.0 billion

Fees: 0.49% to 1.69%

Turnover: 28.0%

1-year Return: -1.02% to 0.18%

2. Dodge & Cox International Stock

Net Assets: $69.67 billion

1-year Net Flows: +10.0 billion

Fees: 0.64%

Turnover: 12.0%

1-year Return: -7.25%

3. Fidelity Diversified International

Net Assets: $25.6 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$2.0 billion

Fees: 0.80% to 0.93%

Turnover: 39.0%

1-year Return: 3.47% to 3.59%

Top Large Cap Stock Funds:

Abby Johnson, President and CEO of Fidelity Investments. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

1. Vanguard Institutional Index

Net Assets: $195.29 billion

1-year Net Flows: +6.0 billion

Fees: 0.02% to 0.04%

Turnover: 4.0%

1-year Return: 6.64% to 6.66%

2. Fidelity Contrafund

Net Assets: $111.8 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$10.0 billion

Fees: 0.54% to 0.64%

Turnover: 45.0%

1-year Return: 11.34% to 11.46%

3. Fidelity Spartan 500 Index

Net Assets: $89.53 billion

1-year Net Flows: +8.0 billion

Fees: 0.02% to 0.10%

Turnover: 4.0%

1-year Return: 6.59% to 6.67%

Top Mid Cap Stock Funds:

1. Fidelity Low-Priced Stock

Net Assets: $45.44 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$7.0 billion

Fees: 0.72% to 0.82%

Turnover: 12.0%

1-year Return: 5.08% to 5.18%

2. Vanguard Extended Market Index

Net Assets: $45.62 billion

1-year Net Flows: +$3.0 billion

Fees: 0.06% to 0.23%

Turnover: 9.0%

1-year Return: 5.81% to 5.99%

3. Vanguard Mid Capitalization Index

Net Assets: $65.6 billion

1-year Net Flows: +8.0 billion

Fees: 0.06% to 0.23%

Turnover: 11.0%

1-year Return: 7.31% to 7.47%

Top Small Cap Stock Funds:

T. Rowe Price Sign

Vanguard Small Cap Index

Net Assets: $56.45 billion

1-year Net Flows: +$4.0 billion

Fees: 0.06% to 0.23%

Turnover: 10.0%

1-year Return: 4.93% to 5.09%

2. Vanguard Explorer

Net Assets: $12.68 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$2.0 billion

Fees: 0.35% to 0.51%

Turnover: 66.0%

1-year Return: 7.49% to 7.66%

3. T. Rowe Price New Horizons

Net Assets: $16.2 billion

1-year Net Flows: -$2.0 billion

Fees: 0.79%

Turnover: 40.0%

1-year Return: 13.90%

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