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Mutual fund companies ended the year 2012 on a high note, with no funds registering negative growth unlike in the previous years. This means no one experienced losses if they invested in any mutual fund from the start of the year until the end of last year, but the downside is that only a few funds managed to beat the benchmark index.

In 2011, for example, most equity mutual funds easily beat the 4.07% growth of the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi). [See 2011 Returns of Philippine Mutual Funds]

In 2012, however, while all stock mutual funds grew by two-digits, they paled in comparison to the 32.95% return of the PSEi. [See 2012 Philippine stocks one of Top 10 stock markets worldwide]

What this means is that one would actually have been better off investing in a PSE index fund, rather than in an actively-managed equity fund. On the other hand, one could simply say that such performance is proof that the market efficiency model is indeed at work — that is, no fund and no one can truly beat the stock market consistently and sustainably through the years.

Still, we can conclude that 2012 was a good year for all mutual funds, returns-wise. Balanced funds produced returns that more or less match the performance of equity funds. This is expected since local equities did rally last year. That is, despite external threats brought about by credit rating downgrades, loan defaults and recession in the European region, and the debt ceiling and fiscal cliff problem of the United States.

Even yields of Philippine bond funds and money market funds were relatively high compared to the previous year. Their returns were a lot higher than the interest rates offered by bank’s savings and time deposit accounts. We thus suggest that if you have a basic understanding of investments, it’s time you venture into investing and start moving your money out of traditional bank products.

Judging by the 5-year returns of mutual funds, one’s money would really be put to good use in investing, instead of merely leaving it in savings and time deposit accounts that do not even match the country’s inflation. [See Philippines' inflation rate slows down to 2.8%

Stocks, Mutual Funds, Forex, Finance Philippines

So which funds should you invest in? Again, the answer depends on your risk profile and investment horizon, among others. You may refer to our introductory article on mutual funds and our Guide to Mutual Fund Investments section for some tutorial.

To help you choose funds that offer good returns, you may look at the summary below of the annual returns of Philippine mutual funds during the past five years. Take note that past performance is not and can never be a guarantee of future performance, but the table below can show you which funds have generated consistent above-average returns over the past five years.

Take note, still, that when choosing a fund, the rate of return should not be the only consideration. One should also assess the fund’s exposure to risks, consistency of return, and investment philosophy. Returns are never guaranteed and losses are a likely possibility. Yes, you can lose all your money in investing. Thus before making that decision to invest, analyze the fund prospectus and probe the agent or broker offering the investment vehicle.

Good luck investing in 2013!

PERFORMANCE REPORT OF PHILIPPINE MUTUAL FUNDS
For the Years Ended 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Peso Equity Funds

2012 Rank PESO STOCK FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 Philippine Stock Index Fund Corp. 34.33% 3.05% 37.56% 61.93% -48.28% 10.12%
2 Philequity Fund, Inc. 33.30% 6.11% 54.25% 64.99% -40.67% 16.37%
3 Sun Life Prosperity Phil. Equity Fund, Inc. 32.02% 2.39% 41.24% 43.52% -37.59% 11.41%
4 Philequity PSE Index Fund Inc. 29.61% 8.17% 38.04% 59.17% -40.75% 12.80%
5 Philam Strategic Growth Fund, Inc. 29.30% 2.66% 55.81% 47.41% -38.13% 13.33%
6 ATR KimEng Equity Opportunity Fund, Inc. 27.71% -1.60% 51.82% 42.91% -41.46% 9.79%
7 First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund, Inc. 26.97% 8.18% 63.37% 53.11% -30.70% 18.81%
8 United Fund, Inc. 18.61% -4.02% 23.32% 25.00% -14.28% 8.53%

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Dollar Equity Funds

2012 Rank DOLLAR STOCK FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 ATR KimEng AsiaPlus Recovery Fund, Inc. 8.26% -21.01% New New New N/A

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Peso Balanced Funds

2012 Rank PESO BALANCED FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 Bahay Pari Solidaritas Fund, Inc. 25.73% 0.85% -0.75% New New N/A
2 First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund Inc. 24.82% 6.62% 61.97% 45.36% -6.27% 23.86%
3 Philam Fund, Inc. 24.66% 2.80% 48.67% 36.91% -32.52% 11.86%
4 Sun Life Prosperity Balanced Fund, Inc. 24.56% 3.08% 30.67% 21.70% -23.75% 9.36%
5 Optima Balanced Fund, Inc. 24.22% 6.32% 27.40% 21.46% -23.89% 9.25%
6 GSIS Mutual Fund, Inc. 23.74% 0.86% 47.31% 36.76% -31.50% 11.46%
7 ATRKE Philippine Balanced Fund 22.80% No data No data No data No data 8.20%
8 NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils., Inc 21.62% 2.92% No data New New N/A
9 ALFM Growth Fund, Inc 19.10% -1.30% 53.72% 63.25% New N/A

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Dollar Balanced Funds

2012 Rank DOLLAR BALANCED FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 PAMI Asia Balanced Fund, Inc. 11.68% -9.60% No data New New N/A
2 Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder, Inc. 9.65% 4.83% No data New New N/A
3 Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund, Inc. 8.64% -0.51% 4.71% 9.00% -8.68% 2.35%

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Peso Bond Funds

2012 Rank PESO BOND FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund, Inc. 11.31% 12.34% 11.56% 5.32% 2.33% 8.36%
2 Grepalife Bond Fund Corporation 10.77% 4.79% 5.93% New New N/A
3 Philam Bond Fund, Inc. 8.69% 7.44% 7.62% 5.52% 1.91% 6.47%
4 Philequity Peso Bond Fund, Inc. 8.03% 9.02% 8.79% 6.58% 2.33% 6.77%
5 Prudentialife Fixed Income Fund Inc. 7.83% 2.86% 5.1% 3.80% -5.00% 3.17%
6 Cocolife Fixed Income Fund, Inc. 7.61% 6.82% 11.99% 12.64% 5.26% 9.05%
7 Ekklesia Mutual Fund Inc. 6.69% 10.35% 6.54% 4.33% 1.96% 5.95%
8 Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund, Inc. 5.86% 5.70% 10.93% 7.59% 0.57% 6.25%
9 ALFM Peso Bond Fund, Inc. 5.81% 6.69% 9.07% 4.62% 4.26% 6.14%
10 Sun Life Prosperity Bond Fund, Inc. 5.62% 8.33% 7.85% 5.58% 1.53% 5.85%

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Foreign Currency Bond Funds

2012 Rank FOREIGN CURRENCY BOND FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 Grepalife Dollar Bond Fund Corp. 16.95% 3.47% 6.46% No data -7.18% 7.75%
2 Philequity Dollar Income Fund Inc. 11.86% 5.24% 7.46% 12.39% -0.71% 7.49%
3 Philam Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. 11.40% 3.54% 8.97% 17.76% -7.44% 6.53%
4 Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund, Inc. 10.46% 5.84% 7.39% 16.30% -7.08% 6.29%
5 ALFM Dollar Bond Fund, Inc. 9.65% 3.95% 6.06% 5.22% 1.97% 5.42%
6 ALFM Euro Bond Fund, Inc. 8.76% -0.05% 4.86% 6.32% 0.08% 3.99%
7 Grepalife Fixed Income Fund Corp. 5.43% 7.24% 6.98% 21.87% -3.44% 5.45%
8 ATR KimEng Total Return Bond Fund Inc. 4.38% 2.10% No data New New N/A
9 PAMI Global Bond Fund, Inc 1.90% 1.96% 0.48% New New N/A
10 MAA Privilege Dollar Fixed Income Fund, Inc. No Data 5.56% -2.23% 8.66% -3.21% No Data
11 MAA Privilege Euro Fixed Income Fund, Inc. No Data -3.33% 4.64% 19.53% -13.87% No Data

2012 Mutual Fund Performance – Peso Money Market Funds

2012 Rank PESO MONEY MARKET FUNDS 2012 Return 2011 Return 2010 Return 2009 Return 2008 Return 5 Yr. Return
1 ALFM Money Market Fund, Inc. 3.00% 3.29% 3.76% New New N/A
2 Philam Managed Income Fund, Inc. 2.51% 1.06% 2.11% 1.77% New 1.79%
3 First Metro Save and Learn Money Market Fund, Inc. 2.18% 1.59% 1.74% 1.04% New N/A
4 Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund, Inc. 0.35% 0.37% 0.78% 1.39% 2.05% 1.00%

* Figures with a minus sign (-) denote a loss. All data from the Philippine Investment Funds Association.

Disclaimer: Although a fund’s rate of return is a typical measure of performance, other factors such as consistency of return and exposure to risks must also be considered. Note that past performance of a fund is not and cannot be a guarantee of future returns. PinoyMoneyTalk.com does not endorse any of the funds listed above. Use prudence and due diligence before making the decision to invest.

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