The Moneywise 100

BE's guide to the best mutual funds

Looking to secure your retirement with a healthy nest egg? Like most investors, you’ve probably gotten a bad case of whiplash surveying an increasingly volatile stock market. Just take a look at its recent performance: The Dow Jones industrial average reached a milestone by passing the 14,000 mark in mid-July and, within just one month, dropped below 13,000 due to concerns in the credit markets triggered by the ongoing subprime lending crisis. These developments have left legions of individual investors dazed and confused. But one thing’s for sure: those who invest for the long haul fare much better than market-timers or investors driven by herd mentality.

That’s why our editors worked with Chicago-based mutual fund research firm Morningstar to create a list of consistent top performers. Welcome to our unveiling of the inaugural Moneywise 100 — be’s guide to the best mutual funds across 10 categories. Our criteria include the following:

Three- and five-year total returns in the top quartile of their respective categories
No loads and a minimum initial investment of $2,500 or less
A turnover rate and expense ratio less than the category average
Fund manager tenure of three years or more

In addition to actively managed funds, we highlight a range of index funds plus a few select diversified exchange-traded funds. So whatever you’re looking for, you can find the fund to match your objectives on the following pages. Doing so may get you a bit closer to sandy beaches during your golden years.

Fund Name

Ticker Symbol

3-Year Return

5-Year Return

Expense Ratio

Minimum Initial Investment

Website

Large Cap

Janus Contrarian JSVAX 0.262 0.22 0.0094 2500 www.janus.com
Columbia Marsico 21st Century Z NMYAX 19.1 18.4 1.01 0 www.columbia funds.com
RiverSource Diversified Equity Inc R4 IDQYX 19.9 17.3 0.93 2000 www.river source.com
Excelsior Value & Restructuring UMBIX 17.6 16.9 1.05 500 www.excelsior funds.com
Hartford Value HLS IB HBVOX 16.8 16.5 0.89 0 www.hartford investor.com
Fifth Third Multi Cap Value Instl MXEIX 16.4 16.4 1.29 1000 www.53.com
1st Source Monogram Income Equity FMIEX 17.6 14.7 1.15 1000 www.1stsource .com
Neuberger Berman Partners Tr NBPTX 18 14.5 0.99 1000 www.nb.com
T. Rowe Price Spectrum Growth PRSGX 15.4 14.2 0.81 2500 www.trowe price.com
American Funds New Economy F ANFFX 14.9 14 0.79 250 www.american funds.com
Mutual Shares Z MUTHX 16.4 13.8 0.76 1000 www.franklin temple ton.com
Neuberger Berman Socially Resp Tr NBSTX 14.5 13.5 1.13 1000 www.nb.com
T. Rowe Price Value TRVLX 15.4 13.4 0.87 2500 www.trowe price.com
Manning & Napier Tax Managed A EXTAX 15.5 13.3 1.2 2000 www.manning napier advisors .com
T. Rowe Price Value Adv PAVLX 15.2 13.2 1.02 2500 www.trowe price.com
Robeco Boston Partners Inv BPLIX 15.9 12.8 1.11 2500 www.robecoi nvest.com
Seligman Large Cap Value I SLVIX 15.6 12.8 0.97 0 www.selig man.com
T. Rowe Price Growth Stock PRGFX 12.4 11.9 0.7 2500 www.trowe price.com
Neuberger Berman Guardian Tr NBGTX 14.3 11.8 1.04 1000 www.nb.com
Oppenheimer Equity Y OEQYX 13.1 11.5 0.72 1000 www.oppen heimer funds.com

Mid Cap

Hodges HDPMX 22.2 24.2 1.42 250 www.hodges fund.com
FBR Small Cap FBRVX 19.2 23.2 1.38 2000 www.fbrfunds.com
RiverSource Mid Cap Value R4 RMCVX 21.9 19.7 1.16 2000 www.river source.com
Janus Orion JORNX 20.7 18.3 0.99 2500 www.janus.com
Columbia Mid Cap Value Z NAMAX 19.9 16.9 0.87 0 www.columbia funds.com
Roosevelt Anti-Terror Multi-Cap BULLX 16.4 16.4 1.28 1000 www.anti- terror fund.com
Fidelity Value FDVLX 17.7 16.1 0.66 2500 www.fidelity.com
Heartland Select Value HRSVX 18.9 16.1 1.25 1000 www.american value investor.com
Westcore Mid-Cap Value WTMCX 18 15.8 1.23 2500 www.westcore.com
Janus Enterprise JAENX 16.2 15.8 0.99 2500 www.janus.com
Janus Adviser Mid Cap Growth S JGRTX 16.4 15.5 1.15 2500 www.janus.com
JHT Value Trust Ser I JEVLX 18.9 15.4 0.83 0 www.jhfunds.com

Small Cap

Royce Value Plus Service RYVPX 19.8 25.1 1.26 2000 www.royce funds.com
Royce Value Service RYVFX 21.5 23.6 1.31 2000 www.royce funds.com
Perritt Micro Cap Opportunities PRCGX 17.8 20.8 1.29 1000 www.perrit tmutualfunds.com
Columbia Small Cap Value II Z NSVAX 17.1 16.5 1.02 0 www.columbia funds.com
Gabelli Small Cap Growth AAA GABSX 16.3 16.1 1.44 1000 www.gabelli.com
Pennsylvania Mutual Inv PENNX 16.4 16 0.87 2000 www.royce funds.com
Excelsior Small Cap UMLCX 14.4 15.5 1.22
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