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.

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