7 Best-Performing Mutual Funds for April 2024 - NerdWallet (2024)

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When shopping for mutual funds, we naturally are curious: Which ones are performing the best today?

While that’s a common place to begin your search, remember you’re shopping for tomorrow when looking for the best mutual funds. Top performers in the short term don’t always become long-term winners. The best mutual funds for your portfolio won’t necessarily be the best for your parents, your siblings or your neighbors.

» Looking to fund an IRA before tax day? See our picks for best IRA accounts.

Best-performing U.S. equity mutual funds

To determine the best mutual funds measured by five-year returns, we looked at U.S. equity funds open to new investors with low costs (expense ratios of 1% or less) and minimum investment requirements of $3,000 or less.

For more on how to choose a mutual fund, skip ahead to this section.



5-year return (%)


State Street US Core Equity Fund



Payson Total Return



Fidelity Mega Cap Stock



BlackRock Exchange BlackRock



Pear Tree Quality Ordinary



Fidelity Series Large Cap Stock



T. Rowe Price U.S. Equity Research


Source: Morningstar. Data is current as of market close on March 29, 2024 and is for informational purposes only.


Charles Schwab
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

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How to choose the best mutual funds for you

Mutual funds combine investors' money to purchase investments. Mutual funds create a more diversified portfolio than most investors can on their own. "Mutual funds" as a category includes index funds, exchange-traded funds, bond funds and target-date funds. Mutual fund investors don’t personally own the stock or other investments held by the fund, but they do share equally in the profits or losses of the fund’s total holdings.

Many experts recommend investing through mutual funds, especially index funds, which passively track a market index such as the S&P 500. The mutual funds above are actively managed, which means they try to beat stock market performance — a strategy that often fails.

» Ready to invest? Here's our picks for best brokerages for mutual funds.

When you're ready to invest, here's what to consider:

  • Decide whether to invest in active or passive funds, knowing that both performance and costs often favor passive investing.

  • Understand and scrutinize fees. A broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds can help cut costs.

  • Build and manage your portfolio, checking in on and rebalancing your mix of assets once a year.

» Learn more: How to invest in mutual funds

Average mutual fund return

Managing your portfolio also means managing your expectations, and different types of mutual funds should bring different expectations for returns.

For actively managed investments, particularly those with higher fees, it is difficult to consistently beat the index. In fact, it rarely happens. Most investors would be better served with a passive investment strategy. Some investors may be best served by a combination of exchange-traded funds and mutual funds that incorporate large, mid, and small cap stocks as well as international and emerging markets.

Depending on your risk tolerance, you may want to explore bond ETFs as well. But you should always do your homework to explore which investments will make the most sense for your portfolio.

Stock mutual funds = higher potential returns (or losses)

Stock mutual funds, also known as equity mutual funds, carry the highest potential rewards, but also higher inherent risks — and different categories of stock mutual funds carry different risks.

» Related: Best performing stocks this month

For example, the performance of large-cap high-growth funds is typically more volatile than, say, stock index funds that seek only to match the returns of a benchmark index like the S&P 500. (Learn more about stock mutual funds versus index funds.)

» Related: 25 best performing high-dividend ETFs

Bond mutual funds = lower returns (but lower risk)

Bond mutual funds, as the name suggests, invests in a range of bonds and provide a more stable rate of return than stock funds. As a result, potential average returns are lower.

Bond investors buy government and corporate debt for a set repayment period and interest rate. While no one can predict future stock market returns, bonds are considered a safer investment as governments and companies typically pay back their debt (unless either goes bust).

Money market mutual funds = lowest returns, lowest risk

These are fixed-income mutual funds that invest in top-quality, short-term debt. They are considered one of the safest investments you can make. Money market funds are used by investors who want to protect their retirement savings but still earn some interest — often between 1% and 3% a year. (Learn more about money market funds.)

Mutual fund fees

Even if you find a low-cost mutual fund, you'll still have to pay some fees. Here are some to look out for:

  • Management fees: Also known as "expense ratios," these cover the cost to pay fund managers and investment advisors.

  • 12b-1 fees: Capped at 1%, these fees pay for the cost of marketing and selling the fund and other shareholder services.

  • Other expenses: These may include custodial, legal, accounting, transfer agent expenses and other administrative costs.

The total annual fund operating expenses are expressed as a percentage of the fund's net average assets.

» How do fees impact returns? This mutual fund calculator can help

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7 Best-Performing Mutual Funds for April 2024 - NerdWallet (4)

Can you lose money in mutual funds?

Yes, as with all investments, it is possible to lose money in mutual funds. But if you invest in well-diversified mutual funds with a long investment timeframe, you'll likely benefit from compound interest and grow your money over time.

The bottom line

Chasing past performance may be a natural instinct, but it often isn't the right one when placing bets on your financial future. Mutual funds are the cornerstone of buy-and-hold and other retirement investment strategies.

Likewise, chasing one-year returns is not a wise investment strategy. It's a good rule of thumb to look for consistency of returns on a longer time horizon. It would be wise to look at the three, five, and 10 year returns to get a sense of a longer track record.

Hopping from stock to stock based on performance is a rear-view-mirror tactic that rarely leads to big profits. That's especially true with mutual funds, where each transaction may bring costs that erode any long-term gains.

What's important to consider is the role any mutual fund you buy will play in your total portfolio. Mutual funds are inherently diversified, as they invest in a collection of companies (rather than buying stock in just one). That diversity helps spread your risk.

You can create a smart, diversified portfolio with just a few well-chosen mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, plus annual check-ins to fine-tune your investment mix.

Frequently asked questions

Will I owe on taxes on mutual funds I own?

Not if you hold them in a tax-advantaged account like a 401(k). Otherwise, selling a mutual fund, or receiving a distribution from one, may generate tax liability. For more information, check out our article about taxes on mutual funds.

What's the difference between mutual funds and ETFs?

One difference is that mutual funds only change price once a day, while exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trade throughout the day like stocks. You can learn more about the differences between ETFs and mutual funds here.

Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.

7 Best-Performing Mutual Funds for April 2024 - NerdWallet (2024)


What are the top 5 performing mutual funds? ›

5 Best Mutual Funds to Buy Now
Mutual FundAssets Under ManagementExpense Ratio
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)$1.6 trillion0.04%
Fidelity 500 Index (FXAIX)$512.4 billion0.015%
Fidelity ZERO International Index (FZILX)$4 billion0%
American Funds Bond Fund of America (ABNDX)$82.6 billion0.62%
1 more row

What is the best investment in 2024? ›

Overview: Best investments in 2024
  1. High-yield savings accounts. Overview: A high-yield online savings account pays you interest on your cash balance. ...
  2. Long-term certificates of deposit. ...
  3. Long-term corporate bond funds. ...
  4. Dividend stock funds. ...
  5. Value stock funds. ...
  6. Small-cap stock funds. ...
  7. REIT index funds.

What mutual funds does Dave Ramsey invest in? ›

I put my personal 401(k) and a lot of my mutual fund investing in four types of mutual funds: growth, growth and income, aggressive growth, and international. I personally spread mine in 25% of those four. And I look for mutual funds that have long track records that have outperformed the S&P.

Which mutual fund is best for next 5 years? ›

List of Best Performing Mutual Funds in India as of Last 5 Years (as per 5Y annualized Returns)
Fund CategoryFund Name5Y Return (Annualised)
EquityQuant Small Cap Fund Direct Plan-Growth40.19%
Quant Mid Cap Fund Direct-Growth38.69%
Bank of India Small Cap Fund Direct-Growth34.17%
Tata Small Cap Fund Direct-Growth33.44%
11 more rows
May 6, 2024

Which mutual fund is performing best now? ›

Fund House Fund Category Fund Rank and Ratios Fund Parameters Investment Parameters Filter
Scheme NamePlanAuM (Cr)
SBI Long Term Equity Fund - Direct Plan - GrowthDirect Plan23,411.67
ITI ELSS Tax Saver Fund - Direct Plan - GrowthDirect Plan325.14
Quant ELSS Tax Saver Fund - Direct Plan - GrowthDirect Plan9,360.89
25 more rows

What is the best mutual fund to buy right now? ›

  • Summary: Best Mutual Funds.
  • Fidelity International Index Fund (FSPSX)
  • Fidelity U.S. Sustainability Index Fund (FITLX)
  • Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX)
  • Shelton Nasdaq-100 Index Fund Investor (NASDX)
  • Schwab Fundamental US Large Company Index Fund (SFLNX)
  • Fidelity Intermediate Municipal Income Fund (FLTMX)
May 13, 2024

Where to invest $50,000 for 3 years? ›

Here are 10 options to help you and your family use $50K to build wealth and financial stability over time.
  • Max out your retirement accounts. ...
  • Contribute to a health savings account (HSA) ...
  • Fund a 529 college savings account. ...
  • Stash it in a high-yield savings account or CD. ...
  • Invest in Treasurys. ...
  • Invest in an index fund.
Apr 11, 2024

Where to put 100k? ›

With $100,000 to invest, you have a plethora of options for how to invest the money. You can park it somewhere safe, like a CD or high-interest savings account, or you can take a little risk and invest in the stock market. If you go the investing route, you can choose how much risk you want to assume.

What is the safest investment with the highest return? ›

These seven low-risk but potentially high-return investment options can get the job done:
  • Money market funds.
  • Dividend stocks.
  • Bank certificates of deposit.
  • Annuities.
  • Bond funds.
  • High-yield savings accounts.
  • 60/40 mix of stocks and bonds.
May 13, 2024

What are the 4 funds Dave Ramsey recommends? ›

And to go one step further, we recommend dividing your mutual fund investments equally between four types of funds: growth and income, growth, aggressive growth, and international.

Why SPY over VOO? ›

VOO charges 3 basis points, while SPY charges 9 basis points. Both are very low cost compared to the average ETF in the US market. Both are great options, well diversified, are run by amazing teams. However, fees do matter, and you get what you don't pay for in the financial industry.

Which mutual funds outperform the S&P 500? ›

Life Beyond the S&P 500
Fund / TickerMorningstar Category5-Year Return
iShares US Healthcare Providers / IHFHealth11.3
Marshfield Concentrated Opportunity / MRFOXLarge Growth17.1
Pacer US Cash Cows 100 / COWZMid-Cap Value17.9
Smead Value / SMVLXLarge Value16.4
15 more rows
Apr 8, 2024

Which mutual fund is safest for long term? ›

Top Long Term Mutual Funds to in Invest in 2024 in India
  • Quant Infrastructure Fund.
  • Kotak Infrastructure and Economic Reform Fund.
  • SBI Contra Plan Fund.
  • Motilal Oswal Midcap Fund.
  • Quant Tax Plan Fund.
  • SBI Magnum Mid Cap Fund.
  • Axis Small Cap Fund.
  • SBI Consumption Opportunities Fund.
Mar 6, 2024

What if I invest $1,000 a month in mutual funds for 20 years? ›

If you invest Rs 1000 for 20 years , if we assume 12 % return , you would get Approx Rs 9.2 lakhs. Invested amount Rs 2.4 Lakh.

Which mutual fund is safe and highest return? ›

List of High Risk & High Returns in India sorted by ET Money Ranking
  • Mirae Asset Midcap Fund. EQUITY Mid Cap. ...
  • Kotak Emerging Equity Fund. EQUITY Mid Cap. ...
  • PGIM India Midcap Opportunities Fund. ...
  • Nippon India Small Cap Fund. ...
  • Kotak Small Cap Fund. ...
  • Nippon India Growth Fund. ...
  • Axis Small Cap Fund. ...
  • Invesco India Mid Cap Fund.

Which is the rank 1 mutual fund? ›

Top Mutual Fund Houses in India
S.No.Mutual Fund House
1.SBI Mutual Fund
2.ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund
3.HDFC Mutual Fund
4.Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund
6 more rows
5 days ago

Which is the best performing mutual fund in the last 3 years? ›

What Are The Top Performing Mutual Funds In Last 3 Years? The top performing mutual funds over the last three years include Nippon India Small Cap Fund, Quant Small Cap Fund, HSBC Small Cap Fund, Tata Small Cap Fund, and ICICI Pru BHARAT 22 FOF.

What is the best mutual fund for retirees? ›

Best retirement income funds
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX).
  • Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund (VTINX).
  • Fidelity Freedom Index Income Fund Investor Class (FIKFX).
  • Schwab Monthly Income Fund Income Payout (SWLRX).
  • Schwab Monthly Income Fund Flexible Payout (SWKRX).


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