The Mutual Fund Series: American Funds

The is the latest installment in the weekly series featured at – The Mutual Fund Series.

During each part of this weekly series, I will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

Today's company is American Funds.


American Funds has been around since 1931 and is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world with over $900 Billion in investments and over 40,000,000 shareholder accounts.  American Funds is owned by a larger company – The Capital Group Companies.

What I Like About American Funds

  • Great performance long-term.  The track record of American Funds has been terrific!
  • Long-Term Approach.  They use a team-approach to manage their mutual funds.  They manage money extremely well in down markets.  They have absorbed hits like the 1987 crash and the bear market of the early 70s and have performed well.
  • Experience.  Their advisors have an average of 22 years of experience with American Funds.  That is unheard of in today's world!
  • Low Initial Investment Requirement.  Most American Fund mutual fund investments can be started with just $250 and a commitment to invest at least $25/month.  That is great!  It allows anyone to start investing!
  • Low Expense Ratios.  They have low expense ratios when compared to most mutual funds.  They are higher than Vanguard, but are about half of comparable mutual funds.
  • Tools.  They have a nice retirement planning website HERE.  I really like their "quick analysis" retirement planning calculator HERE.  It told me good news – that they believe I can retire someday!  What does it tell you?  You can also check out my "retirement nest-egg required" calculator (located on the "TOOLS" page or click HERE).

What I Would Like To See Improved At American Funds

  • Sales Charges.  To purchase American Funds directly, one has to be savvy with on-line trading websites or else one will have to work through an advisor.  This means that there will be a "load" when one purchases American Fund mutual funds through a broker.  If one is just starting out, it could mean that one will have to pay up to 5.75% for all new money invested.  This load drops as more money is held in one's account, but the lower charges start after one achieves six figures in their account.

American Fund Mutual Funds I Own

I currently own six American Fund mutual funds.

  • AMCAP Fund A [Ticker: AMCPX]
  • Capital World Growth and Income Fund [Ticker: CWGIX]
  • Fundamental Investors A [Ticker: ANCFX]
  • New World Fund [Ticker: NEWFX]
  • The Growth Fund of America [Ticker: AGTHX]
  • The Investment Company of America [Ticker: AIVSX]

American Fund Mutual Funds That I Am Considering Purchasing

  • The New Economy Fund [Ticker: ANEFX]  I like the growth potential of the markets this fund will be investing in.
  • EuroPacific Growth Fund [Ticker: AEPGX]  Same as The New Economy Fund – I really like the potential of the markets this fund will be investing in.

What American Fund mutual funds do you own?  Do you have any American Fund mutual funds that you really like?  Any you really dislike?

Love learning about mutual funds?  Love a little competition?  Maybe the "You Pick 'Em Mutual Fund Game" is for you!  Contestants have until the end of April to enter their mutual fund selection.

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  1. - Ken Clark, CFP on April 23, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Who wouldn’t love to see sales charges drop… I’d also love to see the Ritz Carlton charge $20 a night for rooms… 🙂

    American Funds is an incredible mutual fund family and I’m not sure they could do what they do on less revenue.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a broker, all the other fund families would take you out to steak dinners and expensive rounds of golf trying to get your business. Not American Funds. They don’t pimp themselves out on your dollar.

    Separate note… they have a great Section 529 plan…


  2. John X on April 23, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Much of the advice I’ve heard is to avoid any & all LOAD-Mutual Funds b/c they do eat up so much of your investment principal right @ the start. Aren’t there NO-LOAD funds with similar performance & track records that don’t charge those fees?


  3. Joseph Sangl on April 23, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Sangl Says …

    I would refer you to THIS ARTICLE. American Funds has flat killed their competition! AND when you get some serious change put into the fund, the load drops dramatically and disappears altogether at $1,000,000!

    AND, I love American Funds Virginia 529 plan.


  4. Moneymonk on April 23, 2008 at 9:16 am

    good asset allocation

  5. chris on April 23, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Joe: Was there supposed to be a link in your reply #3 where you wrote THIS ARTICLE. If so, there is no link under the text.

  6. Fred Neyhard on April 25, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Joe: You’re absolutely right about American Funds I was introduced to them a few years back(Capital Growth is one I own). They have a proven track record and will not disappoint the LONG term investor.

  7. Gunjan on April 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    To find another group of funds which matches the track record of American Funds is not possible. They have consistenly been in a league of their own.

  8. Connie on May 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Hey Chris, Click on the words “This Article” and it takes you to the link

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