A look at 4 top low-cost managed stock funds

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Posted: Aug 23, 2012 4:58 PM
A look at 4 top low-cost managed stock funds

Below are four top-performing mutual funds that are managed by professional stock-pickers, yet charge below-average fees.

Each invests primarily in large U.S. companies, the types of stocks that typically anchor a well-diversified portfolio. Each has outperformed a large-cap stock index, the Russell 1000, over the latest 5- and 10-year periods. The funds have accomplished that while charging fees that are below 0.74 percent. That's the average expense ratio that investors paid last year to invest in U.S. stock funds of all types, managed and index, according to Morningstar.

Each of the four requires a minimum initial investment of $3,000 or less, so the funds are accessible to most individual investors. None charges an upfront sales fee, known as a load.

The four, listed in order of their 10-year returns, and comparable returns for the Russell 1000:

Fund 12-month return 5-year annualized return 10-year annualized return Expense ratio
Mairs & Power Growth (MPGFX) 33.3% 3.4% 7.5 0.71
Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX) 25.5 4.4 7.24 0.31
T. Rowe Price Growth Stock (PRGFX) 30.8 3.3 7.22 0.70
Vanguard Equity-Income (VEIPX) 28 2.7 7.16 0.31
Russell 1000 stock index 28.2 1.7 6.4 NA

Returns through Aug. 22, 2012

Source: Morningstar, fund company websites