Mutual funds were first introduced in the United States by MFS Investment Management in 1924. Although not public until 1928, the MFS Massachusetts Investors Fund provided a way for select investors to pool their money together. The idea behind creating this investment was to allow a group of small investors access to a range of stocks and fund managers that would otherwise have been out of their price range.

Oldest Mutual Funds By Inception Date (Still Active)

Rank Name Date of Creation
1 MFS Massachusetts Investors Fund (MITTX) 1924
2 Putnam Investors Fund (PINVX) 1925
3 Pioneer Fund (PIODX) 1928
4 Century Shares Fund (CENSX) 1928
5 Vanguard Wellington Fund (VWELX) 1929
7 CGM Mutual Fund (LOMMX) 1929
6 Seligman Common Stock Fund (SCSFX) 1930
8 Fidelity Fund (FFIDX) 1930
9 Dodge & Cox Balance Fund (DODBX) 1931

Finding mutual funds according to the inception date is only one way to sort through the thousands of mutual funds available. Additional sorting options include: rating, one-year returns, five-year returns, risk and investment style, among others. Some good resources for mutual fund research on set criteria include Morningstar and Yahoo! Finance. Look for a screening tool in the mutual fund section and select the characteristics you are looking for. You may need a subscription to gain access to more advanced screening tools.

To learn more, read A Brief History Of The Mutual Fund.

  1. How do I calculate the loan-to-value ratio using Excel?

    Learn what a mutual fund and a money market fund are, and understand the differences between each and how they serve various ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I judge a mutual fund's performance?

    Evaluate mutual fund performance utilizing resources such as Morningstar; compare the fund with others in its peer group ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why is it that when investors realize returns on a mutual fund, its price tends to ...

    Mutual funds have been in existence since 1924, when the first open-ended mutual fund was created. Since then, the market ... Read Answer >>
  4. How much of a company's stock can a mutual fund own?

    There is no written rule that stipulates how much of a company a mutual fund can own. Instead, there are two major factors ... Read Answer >>
  5. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    Learn how liquidity applies to the Vanguard mutual fund family. Vanguard is one of the most well-known and largest investment ... Read Answer >>
  6. Can you place a stop-loss order on a mutual fund?

    First, remember that a stop-loss order is a limit order placed with a broker to sell a stock when it reaches a certain price. ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Top 5 MFS Funds for Retirement Diversification

    Discover the five best MFS funds for retirement savings diversification. Learn why America's first mutual fund is still a great investment.
  2. Financial Advisor

    4 Funds Managed by MFS Investment Management

    Discover the top four mutual funds managed by MFS Investment Management that have long track records of returns and long tenured management.
  3. Financial Advisor

    A Mutual Funds Guide for Young Investors

    Learn how mutual funds work, why they are so popular and how younger investors can get started by putting mutual funds in their IRAs or 401(k)s.
  4. Financial Advisor

    Advising FAs: Explaining Mutual Funds to a Client

    More than 80 million people, or half of the households in America, invest in mutual funds. No matter what type of investor you are, there is bound to be a mutual fund that fits your style.
  5. Financial Advisor

    MFS Investment Management: Investment Manager Highlight (SLF)

    Learn about MFS Investment Management, its investment process, investment teams, star portfolio managers and the investment products it offers.
  6. Financial Advisor

    5 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Mutual Funds

    Learn five of the "secrets" about mutual funds that can have a significant impact on mutual fund choices and investor profitability.
  7. Investing

    Mutual Funds Are Awesome - Except When They're Not

    This investment is very popular, but that doesn't mean it comes without risk.
  8. Investing

    The Benefits of Picking Mutual Funds Over Individual Stocks

    Learn about the advantages of investing in mutual funds rather than individual stocks, including the benefits of affordability, oversight and diversification.
  9. Investing

    Trading Mutual Funds for a Living: Is It Possible?

    Find out why trading mutual funds for a living isn't your best bet, including how funds discourage short-term trading and which options may better serve you.
  1. Mutual Fund

    An investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected ...
  2. Pooled Funds

    Funds from many individual investors that are aggregated for ...
  3. Fund Supermarkets

    An investment firm or brokerage that offers investors a wide ...
  4. Exchange-Traded Mutual Funds

    Investopedia explains the definition of exchange-traded mutual ...
  5. Equity Fund

    A mutual fund that invests principally in stocks. It can be actively ...
  6. Closed Fund

    A mutual fund that has been closed - either temporarily or permanently ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Perkins Loan

    A loan program that provides low-interest student loans to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate exceptional ...
  2. Wealth Management

    A high-level professional service that combines financial/investment advice, accounting/tax services, retirement planning ...
  3. Assets Under Management - AUM

    The market value of assets that an investment company manages on behalf of investors. Assets under management (AUM) is looked ...
  4. Subprime Auto Loan

    A type of auto loan approved for people with substandard credit scores or limited credit histories. There is no official ...
  5. Racketeering

    A fraudulent service built to serve a problem that wouldn't otherwise exist without the influence of the enterprise offering ...
  6. Federal Debt

    The total amount of money that the United States federal government owes to creditors. The government's creditors include ...
Trading Center