Fidelity offers over 10,000 mutual funds; this guide will help you find the best Fidelity mutual fund for you, whether you want to retire or build wealth.
I’ll share my best Fidelity mutual funds for retirees, young people, and those looking to avoid inflation and weather through the next recession.
I’ll also explain the difference between investing with Fidelity vs. Vanguard and how to pick between index funds vs. actively managed funds.
Fidelity Investments Overview
In 1946, a guy called Edward Johnson created Fidelity Investments. After more than 75 years, Fidelity is still thriving and managing trillions.
Edward Johnson is from Boston, and he’s a New England guy through and through, including having a name as waspy as Edward Johnson.
The Johnson family are direct descendent of Puritans, early settlers who came to work hard and later vacation on Martha’s Vineyard because the Church of England isn’t pure enough for them.
Like all upstanding New Englanders, Johnson went to Harvard. And he went there twice: once for undergraduate, another for law.
To understand whether you should invest with Fidelity, it’s important to understand the company’s ownership structure and how that impacts your net worth.
Fidelity: A (Very Profitable) Family Business
Fidelity is a private company; one family owns it today.
When Edward Johnson retired, he passed the helm to his son, who passed it to his daughter Abigail Johnson, who is the current CEO of Fidelity.
The Johnson family owns 49% of Fidelity’s common shares (employees own the rest) and most of its voting shares, and they vote as one.
This means the Johnson family has total control over Fidelity. While the family has done a fine job running Fidelity, let’s be clear: Fidelity exists to serve the interests of the Johnson family.
Every company serves its owners. The public company protects its shareholders. Vanguard protects mutual funds because its owners are the mutual fund holders.
Fidelity serves the Johnson Family.
And this ownership structure drives how much and where the company seeks to make money.
Ownership and Profit Sharing
Let’s compare how Vanguard, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity make money.
In the table below, you see how much assets, revenue, and profit each company generates:
|Assets Managed||$8,100 Billion||$3,600 Billion||$294 Billion|
|Revenue||$6.94 Billion||$24 Billion||$20.76 Billion|
|Revenue per $1K Asset Managed||$1.04||$6.67||$62.9|
|Profits||$227 Million||$2.4 Billion||6.63 Billion|
|Profit Margin (%)||2.18%||10%||32%|
What do you notice? Vanguard manages by far the most assets but it is not making any revenue or profit compared to Fidelity or Schwab.
Vanguard’s profit margin is basically at cost, or near 0%, whereas Fidelity makes 10% of profit and Schwab makes even more over 30%.
This is not surprising given Vanguard’s ownership structure. As a company owned by mutual funds, Vanguard seeks to operate at cost so that it can return all the benefits back to its owners, the mutual fund holders in the form of lower fees.
Vanguard has no responsibility to make a profit for its owner.
On the other hand, Fidelity is a family-owned business that wants to enrich itself.
And where does that profit come from? From its clients like you.
What this means is that you have to be careful with Fidelity and Schwab. They seek to maximize returns for their owners: the Johnson Family and shareholders at the tune of billions of dollars a year.
This makes selecting a mutual fund even more important at Fidelity because you don’t want to end up with a mutual fund that doesn’t benefit you but costs you a lot of fees in the long run without the growth to justify them.
So which Fidelity mutual funds should I avoid? And what are the ones I should buy? I’ll tell you now.
Best Fidelity Mutual Funds
Fidelity has traditionally sold only actively managed funds with a healthy dose of fees (why it makes billions of profit.)
But in recent years, Fidelity started to offer index funds because its clients are leaving Fidelity for Vanguard.
And Fidelity has a few good index funds worth considering. I would say its index funds beat its famous actively managed funds.
Here are my favorites:
Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXIAX): Best Index Fund for Lazy, Wealthy, and Not Lazy, Not Wealthy People
The S&P 500 index fund is a growth fund for people because it tracks the stocks of the largest 500 public companies in the U.S.
Therefore, it’s relatively safe but still growth-oriented.
The S&P 500 has done really well in the past 10 years thanks to the big technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Netflix.
This index fund is full of blue-chip companies and people like blue-chip stocks because they’re less volatile and risky.
Warren Buffett put all of his inheritance to his wife into the S&P 500 index fund. If the S&P 500 is good enough to take care of Warren Buffett’s wife, it’s good enough for any rich person.
Not surprisingly, Fidelity created the FXIAX to stop its customers from going over to Vanguard.
And to Fidelity’s credit, it really went above and beyond to make the FXIAX fund the most attractive S&P 500 index fund on the market today:
- FXIAX has no minimums to invest… whereas Vanguard’s VFIAX has a $3K minimum to invest.
- FXIAX charges the lowest management fee on the market at 0.015%; it is even cheaper than Vanguard VFIAX’s rock-bottom fee of 0.04%.
Fidelity’s S&P 500 index fund has the same performance as any other S&P 500 index fund. So if you are in the market to buy an S&P 500 index fund, Fidelity’s FXIAX is a great option.
S&P 500 vs. Fidelity Fund vs. Magellan Fund
What’s more? The Fidelity’s S&P 500 Index Fund has beat out two of Fidelity’s most famous actively managed funds: the Fidelity Fund and the Fidelity Magellan Fund.
See this comparison table of the S&P 500 vs. Fidelity Fund vs. Magellan Fund (you may need to scroll on phone to see everything).
|Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXIAX)||Fidelity Fund (FFIDX)||Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)|
|Fund Type||Index Fund||Actively Managed Fund||Actively Managed Fund|
|Allocation||100% Stocks||100% Stocks||100% Stocks|
|Description||S&P 500 companies, top 10 accounts for 27%||~100 stocks, both growth and value, top 10 accounts for 43%||~90 stocks, a third in tech, no energy, top 10 accounts for 32%|
|1 year return (from 2023)||-8.23%||-14.33%||-12.68%|
|10 year return (from 2023)||12.67%||11.97%||12.33%|
The Fidelity Fund (FFIDX) is the very first fund at Fidelity. It started in the 1930s and is still going today.
The fund focuses on large-cap equity and has only 110 holdings, with 40% of its holdings in the top 10 companies. So it’s essentially a large-cap fund.
But this fund’s 10-year performance is just slightly worse than the S&P 500. Sure, there may have been periods of time when the Fidelity fund beats the S&P 500 index fund, but it is unclear whether this fund is superior in the long-term, especially if you take into account taxes and fees.
The Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX) is another famous fund with more than 50 years of history. It was managed by a famous mutual fund manager, Peter Lynch, who, between 1977 and 1990, produced growth that doubled the S&P 500 market index, making the Magellan Fund the world’s best-performing mutual fund.
I hope you now see the power of the S&P 500 and why Fidelity has no choice but to offer it. S&P 500 is the simplest way to invest, and it’s beating out two of the most iconic, actively managed funds at Fidelity!
Next, let’s talk about another iconic index fund and how Fidelity’s version is actually a great one to consider.
Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSKAX): The Only Index Fund You Need
Investing can be as easy as A-B-C. JL Collins recommends a one-fund portfolio, and that one-fund is the Total U.S. Market index fund.
That’s right: invest 88% of net worth into the Total U.S. Stock Market and keep 12% in cash and a solid emergency fund.
Fidelity has an index fund for this occasion, it’s the Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSKAX):
|Fund Name||Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSKAX)|
|Fund Type||Index Fund|
|Description||Tracks the entire U.S. stock market|
|10 Year Return (from 2023)||12.20%|
|1-Year Return (from 2023)||-8.39%|
And compared to Vanguard, Fidelity’s FSKAX also has a lower management fee (0.015% vs. 0.04%) with no investment minimum ($0 vs. $3,000).
But it gets better!
Fidelity ZERO Funds
For your money inside a brokerage account (that is, any money outside of a retirement account), Fidelity has launched a new index fund in 2018 called Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index Fund (FZROX).
This new index fund (FZROX), available only inside brokerage accounts, is the same as FSKAX (Total U.S. Stock Market), except FZROX has ZERO management fees rather than the 0.015% charged by FSKAX.
While 0.015% is already so low that you are only spending $150 a year with an investment of $1 million, zero is still zero, pretty amazing.
How does Fidelity afford not to charge fees, you ask? Well, Fidelity is likely losing money on this particular fund.
But it hopes the people who come to Fidelity for zero-fee index funds will buy other services and more expensive mutual funds; thus, overall, Fidelity is making more money rather than losing customers to Vanguard.
But you know better. Take advantage of Fidelity’s zero fee index funds and don’t buy anything else that you shouldn’t buy.
Best Fidelity Mutual Funds for the Young and Ambitious
I always recommend a little investment into small-cap value stocks for any young person looking to take some risks.
In my Best Vanguard Fund guide, I gave a more in-depth overview of what are small-cap value funds.
We saw that small-cap value funds got really damaged by the pandemic, dropping by more than 40%.
But since then, small-cap value has rebounded the most, growing nearly 100% in 2021 alone and not collapsing nearly as much as tech stocks since.
So if you are young and ambitious and want to invest in risky companies and have a long investment horizon, consider small-cap value.
Fidelity Small Cap Value Index Fund (FISVX): The Risky Fund for Long-Term Investment
This is the only index fund from Fidelity that is small-cap AND value.
FISVX has a low fee of only 0.05% and no minimums.
|Fund Name||Fidelity Small Cap Value Index Fund (FISVX)|
|Fund Type||Index Fund|
|Description||Tracks the Russell 2000 Value Index|
|1Yr return (from 2023)||-0.41%|
|3Yr return (from 2023)||9.89%|
The FISVX has over 1,500 stocks, and the top 10 holdings account for less than 6% of its portfolio.
Be careful investing in small-cap value funds. These stocks are highly volatile.
You should not put the majority of your portfolio money into small-cap value stocks. But there are times when it might be smart to invest in small-cap value, especially right after it tanks in value!
Best Fidelity Mutual Funds for Retirees
If you are nearing retirement, retired, or want to retire early, you want less risk, more safety.
You’ve probably built up enough net worth such that you care less about significantly growing your wealth and more about protecting it.
Fidelity recommends the following allocation, which I find a bit too conservative and too reliant on the bond market.
Normally, I’d recommend a Balanced Fund, such as the Vanguard’s 60/40 VBIAX. But none of Fidelity’s balanced funds are that outstanding.
Fidelity has a Multi-Asset Index Fund (FFNOX) with almost 85% of the investments in equities and a 0.13% expense ratio – but its performance has been good, but not anything special and without a history to rely on.
Similarly, the Fidelity Balanced Fund (FBLAX) has 65% equity and 35% bond, and while its performance has been on par, it carries a 0.50% fee since this is an actively managed fund.
And last but not least, Fidelity has an actively managed fund that is more than 70 years old. It’s Fidelity Puritan Fund (FPURX), and it invests about 65% in stocks and 35% in bonds.
The Puritan fund is famous. But its performance vs. cost also doesn’t feel totally justifiable.
I don’t think it’s worth investing in any of these because their performance have not been clearly better than basic, dumb index funds AND they all have higher fees.
What to do, then, if you need a balanced fund at Fidelity?
Make Your Own DIY Fidelity Balanced Fund
If you want to keep money in Fidelity, I recommend buying 60% Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSKAX) and 40% Fidelity U.S. Bond Index Fund (FXNAX).
Or use a stock / bond combination that’s more fitting if 60/40 isn’t for you.
Suppose I split my money and put 65% into the Fidelity Total Market index fund and 35% into the Fidelity U.S. Bond index fund, my 10-year growth rate, shown in the table below, is just slightly worse than what I would get with Fidelity Balanced Fund, and even closer once you remove the fees.
Similarly, if I split my money 70/30 into. two basic, dumb index funds, I get a better return than investing with any of the three Fidelity funds once removing fees.
All in all, I don’t think fancy Fidelity mutual funds are worth buying.
(You may need to scroll on phone to compare)
|Balanced Fund||Multi-Asset Fund||Puritan||65% total stock 35% total bond||70% Total Stock 30% Total Bond|
|Fund Symbol||FBALX||FFNOX||FPURX||FSKAX, FXNAX||FSKAX, FXNAX|
|10-Year Growth (minus fee)||8.79%||8.59%||8.62%||8.40%||8.94%|
You see, this is where Fidelity is charging you higher fees for no better results so the owners can make more profit.
Please only take advantage of Fidelity’s index funds and blend them yourself to DIY your perfect retirement solution.
But I couldn’t end this guide without giving an in-depth assessment of Fidelity’s actively managed mutual funds that are doing well lately…
Best Fidelity Actively Managed Mutual Fund for Growth + Yolo
Actively managed funds differentiate Fidelity and make profits.
Fidelity offers thousands of actively managed mutual funds, most of which are bad. And I’m also going to ignore funds less than 30 years old because they have not withstood the test of time.
There are three funds that I will talk about, they all have the following characteristics:
- Older than 30 years old
- Have beaten the aggressive Russell 1000 Growth in the past 10 years
(You may need to scroll to compare)
|Fidelity Contrafund||Fidelity Trend Fund||Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund||Russell 1000 Growth|
|10-Year Growth (from 2023)||12.76%||13.86%||15.43%||14.32%|
|1-Year Growth (from 2023)||-16.16%||-17.47%||-21.66%||-16.17%|
This doesn’t mean I encourage you to buy these funds. I personally do not own any of these funds.
I am simply pointing out that some funds at Fidelity have outperformed index funds in the past decade. Good for them. I wish they offer more data beyond just the past 10 years.
Next, I’ll deep dive into each of these funds.
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
Like the name, FBGRX invests in high-quality companies with above-average growth. It has a high fee of 0.76%, but a respectable 10-year growth rate of over 15%.
Personally, I think this fund won big because it invested in NVIDIA and TESLA.
But even removing taxes, this fund grew by 15.43% over the past 10 years, even after taking into account the giant drop it had in 2022.
I would not assume that past success predicts future success here, though. This fund might have gotten lucky with NVIDIA and TESLA.
My recommendation is to not invest in this fund unless you want to yolo: hey you are young, you live once, take some risks with 5% of your portfolio.
Note that so far, this fund has performed better than the Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund and the Large Cap Growth Index Fund.
Fidelity Trend Fund (FTRNX)
The Fidelity Trend fund chases the hottest stocks. Nearly half of its holdings are in technology, and a small portion is international.
Similar to the Blue Chip Growth Fund above, the Trend Fund also has high fees and has invested in some of the best performing stocks of the past decade.
And yes, I think this could be due to luck, not skills. So you may not want to dump all of your money to the Trend Fund.
Again, interesting fund, but my recommendation is to stick with index funds unless you are ready to yolo.
Its 10-year performance, at above 13.8%, is lower than the Russell 1000 Growth Index Fund (14.1%)
Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX)
The Contrafund started in 1967 and has been managed by the same portfolio manager William Danoff since 1990.
The Fidelity Contrafund invests in large-cap, with an eye toward those that are undervalued.
This fund also has a bias toward technology. It has a steady portfolio manager, but doesn’t completely rely on tech to win.
It doesn’t have the most impressive growth, in fact, its 10-year trend has been lower than the two funds above, but it could beat the S&P 500 without major allocations to Tesla and NVIDIA and that is ipressive.
Further, the fund has a lifetime growth rate of 12.12% since the 1960s. On the flip side, this fund has a whopping 0.81% in fees.
But if you want to make a bet with high fees, I’d say invest with caution and do so sparingly, but Contra Fund seems like a better one.
In fact, this is one of my favorite Fidelity Funds. I like funds with a history and longevity a steady fund manager. Being able to deliver 12% since the 60s is wayyyyyy more impressive than being able to deliver 17% in the past 10 years.
Best Fidelity Mutual Funds: Summary
Fidelity has over 10,000 mutual funds, most of which are worthless actively managed funds you should try to avoid like the plague.
It’s overwhelming having to pick out of so many choices the best funds for you.
The simplest solution is the best solution.
A smart investment strategy eliminates complexity, makes a simple decision, and retains the willpower to do nothing while emotions go up and down.
Two index funds, the S&P 500 and the Total U.S. Stock Market, are enough as long as you make sure to keep ample cash. And if you want to lower risk, mix in a little bit of the Total U.S bond index fund.
Here’re the best Fidelity mutual funds:
- Best Fidelity index fund for lazy, wealthy people:
- The only Fidelity index fund you need
- Best Fidelity index fund for the young and ambitious
- Fidelity funds for retirees
- Best Fidelity actively managed mutual fund (BUY WITH CAUTION)
- Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX)
Got any more questions or thoughts? Comment below and let me know!
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