The Capital Group's American Funds family has been offering mutual funds to investors since the early 1930s. It currently boasts more than 50 fund offerings, spanning a broad array of categories. Most of the funds are actively managed by professional analysts and managers. The following funds boast the longest track records.
Note: All financial data is current as of January 7, 2020.
1) American Funds Investment Company of America
The Investment Company of America fund (AIVSX) is an actively managed growth- and income-focused equity fund. Its average annual return since its 1930 inception is 12.04%, soundly outperforming the S&P 500’s 9.82% average annual return for the same time period. The fund has a five-year annualized return of 9.43%, an expense ratio of 0.57%, and a dividend yield of 1.5%.
2) American Mutual Fund
The American Mutual Fund (AMRMX) is a large-cap value fund that aims to preserve capital by selecting stocks offering strong fundamentals and sustainable dividends. Since its 1950 launch, the fund’s average annual return is 11.58%. The fund’s five-year annualized return is 9.82%, its expense ratio is 0.61%, with a 1.97% dividend yield.
3) AMCAP Fund
Launched in 1967, the AMCAP Fund (AMCPX) seeks long-term capital growth by targeting stocks that consistently demonstrate superior earnings. The fund's average annual return over the past ten years is 12.96%, its five-year annualized return is 10.48%, and its expense ratio is 0.66%, well below the category average of 1.19%. There is currently no dividend yield.
4) New Perspective Fund
American Funds launched the New Perspective Fund (ANWPX) in March 1973, with an investment goal of seeking long-term capital appreciation. The fund manager chiefly invests in multinational blue-chip multinational companies, in the form of common stocks, preferred stocks, bonds, or convertible securities. The average annual return since inception is 12.16%. The fund’s five-year annualized return is 10.16%, and its expense ratio is 0.77%, with a 0.53% dividend yield.
5) The Growth Fund of America
Launched in December 1973, the Growth Fund of America (AGTHX) seeks long-term capital growth by investing in cyclical businesses, undervalued companies, and potential turnaround stories. The fund's average annual return over the past 10 years is 10.80%, its five-year annualized return is 11.12%, and its expense ratio is 0.65%. It offers a 0.98% dividend yield.
6) The Income Fund of America
Introduced in December 1973, the Income Fund of America (AMECX) seeks to achieve capital growth by investing in a mix of stocks, convertible securities, and bonds. Its 10-year annualized return is 8.95%, its five-year annualized return is 8.96%, and the fund’s expense ratio is 0.58%. The fund boasts an attractive 2.78% dividend yield.
7) The Bond Fund of America
Launched in May 1974, the Bond Fund of America (ABNDX) maintains a diversified fixed income portfolio by adjusting to changing bond market conditions in pursuit of high income and capital preservation. The fund's 10-year annualized return is 2.78%, and its five-year annualized return is 2.12%. Its expense ratio is 0.6%, with a 2.28% yield.
8) American Balanced Fund
Launched in July 1975, the American Balanced Fund (ABALX) seeks long-term capital and income growth by investing up to 75% of its assets in common stock, while allocating the remainder to bonds and other fixed-income securities. The fund's five-year annualized return is 8.03%, the expense ratio is 0.57%, and the dividend yield is 1.87%.
9) Fundamental Investors Fund
Since its August 1978 inception, the Fundamental Investors Fund (ANCFX) has targeted value opportunities and stocks exhibiting superior sales and earnings potential. The fund's 10-year annualized return of 12.38% has just eclipsed its five-year annualized return of 11.33%. The expense ratio is 0.59%, and the dividend yield is 1.53%.
10) The Tax-Exempt Bond Fund of America
Launched in October 1979, the Tax-Exempt Bond Fund of America (AFTEX) seeks to maximize tax-exempt income by investing primarily in municipal and public authority bonds. The fund boasts a 10-year annualized return of 4.43% and a five-year annualized return of 3.51%. The fund's 12-month yield is 2.63%, and its expense ratio is 0.54%.