105 most popular funds for your retirement savings

These mutual funds have the most assets under management in 401(k) plans, according to BrightScope.

  • By Nellie S. Huang,
  • Kiplinger
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There's no denying the importance and popularity of 401(k)s for retirement savers. Americans have $4.8 trillion invested in these tax-deferred savings accounts, according to the Investment Company Institute, and there are 52 million active 401(k) participants.

BrightScope, a financial-information company that rates retirement-savings plans, compiled this list for Kiplinger of the most popular mutual funds in 401(k) plans based on funds' 401(k) assets under management.

Here is the list of the top 105 funds for your 401(k) retirement savings. All figures are as of September 30, 2016.

Annualized total return
Rank Fund name Symbol Total assets* 1-Yr 3-Yr 5-Yr 10-Yr Fund type
1 Vanguard Institutional Index I VINIX $209 billion 15.41 11.13 16.35 7.24 Large Blend
2 PIMCO Total Return D PTTDX 84 billion  5.38 3.21 3.88 5.67 Intermediate-Term Bond 
3 Fidelity® Contrafund FCNTX 108 billion 10.51 10.25 15.41 8.62 Large Growth
4 American Funds Europacific Growth A AEPGX 124 billion 8.13 2.99 8.73 3.93 Foreign Large Growth
5 Fidelity 500 Index Investor FUSEX 103 billion 15.34 11.07 16.28 7.17 Large Blend
6 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Inv VBMFX 175 billion 5.21 3.87 2.88 4.66 Intermediate-Term Bond 
7 Vanguard Wellington Inv VWELX 92 billion 11.95 7.92 11.50 7.13 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
8 Dodge & Cox Stock DODGX 56 billion 14.53 8.91 17.10 5.52 Large Value
9 Fidelity Growth Company FDGRX 38 billion 13.74 11.50 17.66 10.67 Large Growth
10 Vanguard PRIMECAP Inv VPMCX 47 billion 17.40 13.27 18.52 9.51 Large Growth
11 Vanguard 500 Index Inv VFINX 260 billion 15.27 11.00 16.20 7.12 Large Blend
12 Vanguard Extended Market Idx Inv VEXMX 47 billion 13.29 7.34 16.17 8.11 Mid-Cap Blend
13 American Funds Growth Fund of Amer A AGTHX 144 billion 15.04 10.38 16.57 7.44 Large Growth
14 Vanguard Mid Cap Index Inv VIMSX 74 billion 12.54 9.76 16.36 8.06 Mid-Cap Blend
15 Fidelity Freedom 2020 FFFDX 12 billion 10.31 5.61 8.50 4.77 Target-Date 2020
16 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Inv VTTVX 32 billion 10.67 6.46 10.39 5.65 Target-Date 2025
17 Fidelity Low-Priced Stock FLPSX 40 billion 7.01 6.73 14.43 8.08 Mid-Cap Value
18 Fidelity Freedom 2030 FFFEX 11 billion 11.74 6.32 10.09 4.86 Target-Date 2030
19 Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Inv VTWNX 28 billion 10.05 6.21 9.63 5.62 Target-Date 2020
20 Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index Inv VGTSX 226 billion 9.53 0.79 6.71 2.15 Foreign Large Blend
21 Vanguard Windsor II Inv VWNFX 46 billion 12.11 8.14 14.72 5.78 Large Value
22 Dodge & Cox International Stock DODFX 55 billion 5.62 0.06 8.17 2.88 Foreign Large Blend
23 Vanguard Small Cap Index Inv NAESX 63 billion 14.82 7.78 16.55 8.28 Small Blend
24 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2020 TRRBX 26 billion 11.09 6.29 10.65 5.89 Target-Date 2020
25 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2030 TRRCX 26 billion 11.93 6.91 12.24 6.17 Target-Date 2030
26  Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Inv  VTHRX 25 billion 11.15 6.64 11.12 5.64 Target-Date 2030
27 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Inv VTTHX 25 billion 11.64 6.80 11.83 5.74 Target-Date 2035
28 Fidelity Freedom 2025 FFTWX 9 billion 10.73 6.01 9.62 5.06 Target-Date 2025
29 Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv VTSMX 469 billion 14.85 10.29 16.20 7.41 Large Blend
30 Fidelity Diversified International FDIVX 20 billion 5.96 3.00 9.60 2.75 Foreign Large Growth
31 Fidelity Freedom 2040 FFFFX 7 billion 12.10 6.46 11.00 4.89 Target-Date 2040
32 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2025 TRRHX 20 billion 11.57 6.64 11.49 6.04 Target-Date 2025
33 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Inv VTXVX 17 billion 9.03 5.71 8.61 5.48 Target-Date 2015
34 Fidelity Freedom 2035  FFTHX 6 billion 12.17 6.45 10.89 4.97 Target-Date 2035
35 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2040 TRRDX 18 billion 12.29 7.13 12.98 6.34 Target-Date 2040
36 Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Inv VFORX 17 billion 12.11 6.84 12.13 5.87 Target-Date 2040
37 Vanguard Instl Ttl Stk Mkt Idx I VITNX 39 billion 15.06 10.48 16.40 7.59 Large Blend
38 Harbor Capital Appreciation Inv HCAIX 38 billion 8.63 10.86 15.57 8.27 Large Growth
39 T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth RPMGX 25 billion 11.25 11.22 17.13 10.61 Mid-Cap Growth
40 T. Rowe Price Growth Stock PRGFX 45 billion 10.05 11.03 17.36 8.61 Large Growth
41 American Funds American Balanced A ABALX 97 billion 12.09 8.26 12.12 6.82 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
42 Fidelity Balanced FBALX 29 billion 10.80 8.09 11.23 6.45 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
43 T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth TRBCX 33 billion 11.34 11.56 17.86 9.11 Large Growth
44 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Inv VTIVX 16 billion 12.16 6.86 12.14 5.87 Target-Date 2045
45 MainStay Large Cap Growth Inv MLINX 81 billion 9.52 9.36 14.74 8.35 Large Growth
46 Vanguard International Growth Inv VWIGX 23 billion 16.72 3.13 9.84 4.17 Foreign Large Growth
47 T. Rowe Price Equity Income PRFDX 22 billion 17.45 6.63 13.71 5.67 Large Value
48 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2035 TRRJX 15 billion 12.14 7.05 12.72 6.24 Target-Date 2035
49 Harbor International Investor HIINX 13 billion 7.36 -0.91 6.92 3.43 Foreign Large Blend
50 Fidelity Puritan FPURX 26 billion 10.13 8.09 11.41 6.43 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
51 MFS Value A MEIAX 1 billion 15.07 9.62 15.97 6.94 Large Value
52 American Funds New Perspective A ANWPX 60 billion 10.90 7.02 12.94 6.80 World Stock
53  Fidelity Freedom 2015 FFVFX 5 billion 9.84 5.37 7.82 4.84 Target-Date 2015
54 Vanguard Balanced Index Inv VBINX 30 billion 11.06 7.82 10.85 6.64 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
55 Vanguard Growth Index Inv VIGRX 53 billion 13.36 11.19 16.38 8.66 Large Growth
56 Metropolitan West Total Return Bd M MWTRX 39 billion 4.48 3.76 4.59 6.25 Intermediate-Term Bond
57 American Beacon Lg Cap Value Inv AAGPX 8 billion 10.62 6.42 14.45 5.11 Large Value
58 Fidelity Extended Market Index Investor FSEMX 17 billion 13.27 7.46 16.13 8.34 Mid-Cap Blend
59 Oakmark Equity & Income I OAKBX 30 billion 7.34 4.92 9.75 6.59 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
60 T. Rowe Price Instl Large Cap Growth TRLGX 12 billion 9.98 10.85 17.61 9.50 Large Growth
61 American Funds Washington Mutual A AWSHX 81 billion 15.20 9.39 14.58 6.57 Large Value
62 Neuberger Berman Genesis Inv NBGNX 16 billion 13.34 6.37 13.36 8.78 Small Growth
63 Fidelity US Bond Index Investor FBIDX 26 billion 5.09 3.85 2.90 4.40 Intermediate-Term Bond
64 Artisan Mid Cap Investor ARTMX 8 billion 8.08 5.75 14.16  9.88 Mid-Cap Growth
65 Fidelity Freedom 2045 FFFGX 3 billion 12.11 6.53 11.22 4.96 Target-Date 2045
66 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth FBGRX 19 billion 10.85 11.74 17.32 9.58 Large Growth
67 American Funds Fundamental Invs A ANCFX 77 billion 16.99 10.24 15.87 7.48 Large Blend
68 Fidelity OTC FOCPX 14 billion 18.34 13.38 18.53 12.13 Large Growth
69 Vanguard Value Index Inv VIVAX 44 billion 16.11 10.19 15.86 5.88 Large Value
70 Dodge & Cox Balanced DODBX 15 billion 12.58 7.74 13.71 5.82 Allocation—50% to 70% Equity
71 Vanguard Explorer Inv VEXPX 11 billion 13.35 6.09 15.46  7.54 Small Growth
72 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2015 TRRGX 10 billion 10.49 5.88 9.62 5.71  Target-Date 2015
73 Dodge & Cox Income DODIX 47 billion 7.09 4.29 4.31 5.36 Intermediate-Term Bond
74 JPMorgan Mid Cap Value A JAMCX 15 billion 13.08 9.71 16.80 8.17 Mid-Cap Blend
75 BlackRock Equity Dividend Inv A MDDVX 20 billion 14.42 8.39 12.52 6.82 Large Value
76 JPMorgan Large Cap Growth A OLGAX 16 billion 6.09 8.90 13.69 8.63 Large Growth
77 Vanguard Inflation-Protected Secs Inv VIPSX 25 billion 6.48 2.31 1.78 4.26 Inflation-Protected Bond
78 American Funds Capital World Gr&Inc A CWGIX 82 billion 11.00 5.35 11.53 5.33 World Stock
79 Fidelity International Index Investor FSIIX 15 billion 6.51 0.55 7.60 1.92 Foreign Large Blend
80 Fidelity Freedom 2050 FFFHX 3 billion 12.20 6.52 11.39 4.77 Target-Date 2050
81 Vanguard Windsor Inv VWNDX 17 billion 10.35 7.71 16.01 5.75 Large Value
82 Columbia Acorn A LACAX 5 billion 8.76 4.01 12.25 6.61 Mid-Cap Growth
83 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2045 TRRKX 9 billion 12.30 7.13 12.97 6.34 Target-Date 2045
84 Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Inv VFIFX 10 billion 12.14 6.85 12.14 5.87  Target-Date 2050
85 Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value A GCMAX 25 billion 8.04  5.70 13.66 6.42 Mid-Cap Value
86 Oppenheimer Developing Markets A ODMAX 5 billion 17.93 -1.50 4.65 6.41 Diversified Emerging Mkts
87 Schwab S&P 500 Index SWPPX 23 billion  15.28 11.05 16.24 7.19 Large Blend
88 T. Rowe Price New Horizons PRNHX 17 billion 14.21 9.39 18.92 11.53 Small Growth
89 BlackRock Global Allocation Inv A MDLOX 43 billion 6.84 3.20 6.60 5.23 World Allocation
90 Fidelity Freedom 2010 FFFCX 4 billion 9.07 5.02 7.49 4.78 Target-Date 2000-2010
91 Morgan Stanley Inst Mid Cap Growth A MACGX 10 billion -0.12 -0.01 7.47 6.70 Mid-Cap Growth
92 Vanguard Capital Opportunity Inv VHCOX 14 billion 15.20 11.99 19.53 9.42 Large Growth
93 Vanguard Developed Markets Idx Investor VDVIX 65 billion 7.93 0.99  7.93 2.05 Foreign Large Blend
94 Vanguard Wellesley Income Inv VWINX 50 billion 11.58 7.28 8.70 7.10 Allocation—30% to 50% Equity
95 PIMCO Real Return D PRRDX 12 billion 6.26 1.53 1.58 4.26 Inflation-Protected Bond
96 Vanguard Small Cap Value Index Inv VISVX 21 billion 16.45 9.40 17.29 7.49 Small Value
97 Vanguard REIT Index Inv VGSIX 64 billion 19.53 13.84 15.54 6.34 Real Estate
98 AllianzGI NFJ Small-Cap Value A PCVAX 4 billion 10.40 3.42 10.87 7.09 Small Value
99 T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Stock OTCFX 9 billion 15.61 7.45 16.73 9.04 Small Growth
100 Vanguard Target Retirement Income Inv VTINX 11 billion 7.54  4.68 5.94 5.27 Target-Date Retirement
101 Vanguard Morgan Growth Inv VMRGX 11 billion 10.48 10.58 15.73 7.64 Large Growth
102 Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock FMCSX 7 billion 12.85 7.74 15.01 7.46 Mid-Cap Growth
103  GE RSP US Equity GESSX 5 billion 13.34 9.15 15.91 7.16 Large Blend
104 PIMCO All Asset D PASDX 19 billion 13.20 1.54 4.44 4.57 Tactical Allocation
105 T. Rowe Price Retirement 2050 TRRMX 7 billion 12.30 7.11 12.96 Target-Date 2050

Source: Kiplinger


*The dollar amounts represent funds' total assets under management held both within 401(k) plans and outside of 401(k)s, according to Morningstar. BrightScope ranked the funds by assets under management held in 401(k)s only, but it did not disclose the precise amounts for proprietary reasons.
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© 2016 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.
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