A:

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.

RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Learn about mutual fund portfolio management techniques and mutual funds' ability to invest in hedge funds, as well as new ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why don't mutual funds trade like stocks?

    Learn how mutual funds differ from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in how they are traded. Also, learn what fees are involved ... Read Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. Why do mutual funds require minimum investments?

    Learn how funds usually set minimum investments to keep away small, short-term traders from impacting the cash flow and the ... Read Answer >>
  6. 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 >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    How to Rate Your Mutual Fund Manager

    What to really look for when you're deciding on a mutual fund.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    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.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds: Different Types Of Funds

    No matter what type of investor you are, there is bound to be a mutual fund that fits your style. According to the last count there are more than 10,000 mutual funds in North America! That means ...
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds: What Are They?

    The Definition A mutual fund is nothing more than a collection of stocks and/or bonds. You can think of a mutual fund as a company that brings together a group of people and invests their money ...
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds Are Awesome - Except When They're Not

    This investment is very popular, but that doesn't mean it comes without risk.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Trading Mutual Funds For Beginners

    Learn about the basics of trading and investing in mutual funds. Understand how the fees charged by mutual funds can impact the performance of an investment.
  7. Investing Basics

    4 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Mutual Funds to Invest in

    Mutual funds are a great way to build wealth but not all of them are the same. Investors have to be mindful of fees, turnover, redundancy and performance.
  8. Retirement

    Are Mutual Funds A Relic?

    We list some options other than mutual funds for your retirement plan.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    When To Buy A Mutual Fund

    There is money to be made in mutual funds, but investors fall into several pitfalls that keep them from maximizing their profits. Read these tips to take the uncertainty out of investing in mutual ...
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    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.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Mutual Fund

    An investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected ...
  2. Mutual Fund Yield

    Dividend payments divided by the value of a mutual fund’s shares. ...
  3. Family Of Funds

    A group of mutual funds offered by one investment or fund company. ...
  4. Equity Fund

    A mutual fund that invests principally in stocks. It can be actively ...
  5. Foreign Fund

    A mutual fund, closed-end fund or exchange-traded fund that invests ...
  6. Closed Fund

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

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  2. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  3. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  4. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  5. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  6. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
Trading Center