Best Mutual Funds to Invest in the Philippines in 2020



How do I invest in Mutual Funds? And which ones are the best funds to invest in the Philippines?

Actually, the word “best” may be relative and it’s really difficult to pinpoint the best mutual fund based on one criteria alone. But one of our main goals in PinoyMoneyTalk is to give you objective, practical, and useful information about investment opportunities, so what we’ll do is hopefully give you enough information to help you arrive at your own decision regarding suitable mutual funds that are worthy of your investment.

So in this article, we’ll explain in detail:

  1. What Mutual Funds are and how they differ from other investments such as VUL and UITF;
  2. Things to consider before investing in a Mutual Fund;
  3. How to invest in Mutual Funds (with a step-by-step guide);
  4. List of Best Performing Mutual Funds as of April 2020;
  5. How to know if you’re earning in Mutual Funds; and
  6. Performance ranking of Mutual Funds in the past years.

With this guide, we hope that you’ll be able to come up with an informed decision as to where to best put your hard-earned money!

(If you want to skip to the latest list of best performing mutual funds, simply head over to the section “Top 10 Best Mutual Funds in 2020”.)

Article Guide

My Mutual Fund Investing Story

First, let me tell you an interesting story regarding my experience making my very first mutual fund investment back in the early 2000s.

I started investing in mutual funds when I was 22 years old. I may be relatively young back then, but I was an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and was able to save some money because of my work abroad. One time while I was on vacation in the Philippines, I saw a large billboard in EDSA promoting a big mutual fund company in the Philippines. (I won’t name which one, but let’s just say there’s the word “LIFE” in its name. Sunlife, Manulife, or Pru Life? Take a guess!).

Anyway, I got interested with the promise that it is an “investment” that can help me “retire rich”. Back then, and even until now, I love the idea of retiring early and retiring financially free. I do not plan on working for the rest of my life, so having an opportunity to help me grow my money while I was young made me decide to drop by the mutual fund company’s office on that same day.

I went to the reception and was told by the secretary to sit and wait for a mutual fund agent who will accommodate me. After a few minutes, a guy walked in, scouted the entire room then told the secretary (I was the only one there besides the secretary): “Nasaan yung kliyente? Wala namang investor dito…”

I stifled a laugh, unsure if I should be offended or amused but I got up, approached the guy, and introduced myself as a 22-year-old potential mutual fund investor. He blushingly apologized and we started talking about what mutual funds are how they can be a good investment opportunity to help me reach my financial goals.

What are Mutual Funds?

So what are Mutual Funds?

By definition, a Mutual Fund is an “investment fund that collectively pools money from individual and corporate investors, with the pooled money being managed by a professional fund manager who invests in stocks, bonds, money market instruments, or other securities with the goal of providing an acceptable level of return to contributing investors.”

Don’t be intimidated by that definition. Simply put, it is a collection of investments gathered from investors which will be managed by a group of investment managers who will trade and invest in various assets with the hopes of making money for all investors.

How do Mutual Funds work?

In the Philippines, Mutual Funds are created as independent companies, which makes mutual fund investors the “owners” or “shareholders” of the fund.

In the same way that you become a part-owner of a publicly-listed company when you buy shares of, say, Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), Megaworld Corp. (MEG), or Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), you also become a part-owner or shareholder of the mutual fund company when you decide to make an investment. That’s one primary difference between a similar investment product called Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITF).

Mutual Funds vs. UITF: What’s the difference?

What are UITF? Just like mutual funds, Unit Investment Trust Funds or UITF are also collective investment schemes where pooled funds are managed by an investment team that invests in a variety of investment securities.

UITF are typically offered by banks or trust corporations in the Philippines and are offered to investors as “investment products.” That’s a key difference between these two investment outlets. While investors of mutual funds become shareholders and part-owners of the mutual fund company, investors of UITF do not become shareholders. Instead, they merely buy “units of participation.”

Mutual Funds vs. VUL: What’s the difference?

How about Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance, also called Variable Unit-Linked insurance? How are VUL different from Mutual Fund or UITF?

Simply speaking, a VUL is a 2-in-1 product which combines the features of an insurance product and an investment product. Its insurance component offers a “death benefit,” wherein beneficiaries receive a certain amount in case of the death of the planholder.

This is possible because a portion of the VUL investment is actually used to pay the “insurance premium”. The remainder from the investment, after the insurance premium is deducted, is placed in investible assets and managed similar to a Mutual Fund or UITF.

Here’s a more detailed explanation of the differences between the three products VUL, UITF, and Mutual Funds.

Differences between Mutual Funds, VUL & UITF

 Mutual FundVULUITF
Nature of the ProductShares of ownership in a mutual fund companyLife insurance with investment componentUnits of participation in an investment product
Owner / Fund ManagerMutual Fund companyInsurance companyBank or Trust Corporation
Agents / Seller DistributorLicensed Agent (Certified Investment Solicitor)Licensed Agent (Variable Life license)Licensed Employee (Certified UITF Marketing Personnel)
PriceNet Asset Value per Share (NAVPS)VUL Unit PriceNet Asset Value per Unit (NAVPU)
Fees(1) Entry fee or sales load; (2) Exit fee; (3) Management fee(1) Entry fee or sales load; (2) Exit fee; (3) Management fee; (4) Insurance charge; (5) Surrender charge; (6) Policy fee or Rider charge, if applicable (1) Trust fee; (2) Early redemption fee, if applicable
DividendsYes, if declared and distributed to shareholdersNoneNone
Death BenefitNoneYes, paid to beneficiariesNone
Regulatory BodySecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Insurance Commission (IC)Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Nature of the Product. Mutual Funds are offered by investment companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Therefore, when you invest in a mutual fund, you’re actually buying shares of the mutual fund company which makes you a stockholder of the fund. Thus, you acquire the rights of a regular stockholder, including right to vote and right to receive dividends, if distributed by the mutual fund.

UITF, on the other hand, is a trust product of banks or trust corporations. When you invest in UITF, you merely buy “units” of investment, not shares of a company. Therefore, you do not acquire shareholder rights in the bank. You do not get the right to vote, unlike in a mutual fund where you can vote on certain matters for approval by the shareholders, but you will still receive your share in the earnings of the UITF.

VUL products, meanwhile, are a 2-in-1 “insurance plus investment” product offered by insurance companies. A portion of the investment is actually paid as insurance premium with the remainder invested and managed to increase the value of the fund.

Distribution or Sales Agents. To be able to sell shares of mutual funds, the agent (who is a third party personnel not employed by the mutual fund company) must have received a “Certified Investment Solicitor (CIS)” license awarded by the SEC. To become a CIS, agents must pass a certification exam given by the SEC allowing them to sell mutual funds.

UITFs, on the other hand, are not sold by third-party agents but offered by full-time employees of the bank or trust corporation. There is a current rule by the BSP that UITF sellers must have received the “Certified UITF Marketing Personnel” license. At present, though, this plan is still pending and not yet a strict requirement for personnel offering UITF.

For VUL products, these are also sold by licensed third-party agents with a valid “Variable Life” license which they can acquire after passing a certification exam by the Insurance Commission (IC).

Owner and Fund Manager. Mutual Funds are marketed and offered by SEC-registered mutual fund companies. VUL products are offered by companies primarily selling life insurance. Finally, UITF in the Philippines are offered by banks or companies with a Trust license (i.e., Trust Corporation).

In mutual funds, money is entrusted to a group of professional fund managers appointed by the investment company. In UITFs, money is typically managed by the Trust Group (or Trust Department) of the bank or the Investment Management group in a Trust corporation. VULs are managed either by the in-house fund managers of the insurance company or a separate investment management company appointed by the insurance firm.

The competencies and certifications of Mutual Fund, UITF, and VUL fund managers are usually the same, but in terms of professional affiliation, they could be members of the Philippine Investment Funds Association (PIFA) or the Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (TOAP). It’s possible that fund managers are members of both, especially if their institution offers mutual funds, UITF, and VUL.

Price. The price of a Mutual Fund, UITF, or VUL is measured by its current Net Asset Value. The Net Asset Value (NAV) is simply the difference between the values of the total assets owned by the fund less its total liabilities. Simply speaking, the NAV is what’s left of all assets of the fund after all liabilities or financial obligations have been deducted. This NAV is then divided by the total number of MF, UITF, or VUL shares outstanding.

The resulting number, in the case of mutual funds, is called NAVPS or Net Asset Value per Share. For UITFs, the measure of performance is called NAVPU or Net Asset Value per Unit. To differentiate with NAVPS and NAVPU, VUL prices are simply called VUL Unit Prices. Sample computations of NAVPU, NAVPS, and Unit Prices are explained in a latter section of this article.

Fees. Mutual funds and VUL charge sales loads, which may be in the form of entry or exit fees. Entry fees are upfront sales load charged before the account is opened. Exit fees, also called redemption fees, are charged when shares are redeemed and converted to cash. What most investors don’t know is that entry and exit fees are actually the commissions paid to mutual funds or VUL agents. These sales loads could reach up to 5% of your investment amount, so take note how entry or exit fees can affect your investment.

UITFs do not have entry or exit fees, but some charge an early redemption fee if the investment is liquidated or withdrawn before the set minimum holding period.

All three charge a fixed management fee, which is a certain percentage of the total assets they manage (called “Assets Under Management” or AUM). This management fee, called Trust Fee in UITF, represents the income of the company for managing and handling the fund. In the Philippines, management fees charged by Mutual Funds, VUL, and UITF typically range from 0.5% to 2.0% of the AUM. This amount may be deducted from the fund’s assets every month or every quarter.

Applicable Law. A specific law in the Philippines called the “Investment Company Act of the Philippines” (Republic Act No. 2629) governs mutual fund companies. UITF and VUL are not governed by any specific law, but they are governed by rules and regulations set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for UITF and by the Insurance Commission (IC) for VUL products. A UITF, although offered by banks, is not a deposit product which means it is not covered by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). Mutual Funds and VUL are also not deposit products and thus not similarly covered by the PDIC.

Regulatory Body. Mutual funds are registered companies, therefore, they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines. UITFs, as a bank product, are regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). VUL products, meanwhile, are regulated by the Insurance Commission (IC).

Top 10 Best Mutual Funds in 2020

Best mutual funds to invest in the Philippines

We invest with the primary goal of making money, which is why the performance of a mutual fund, summarized by its rate of return, is an appealing metric to investors. If your ultimate goal is to quickly grow money, choose funds that can provide the highest possible returns.

Looking at the profit performance of mutual funds in the country, here are the 10 Best Performing Mutual Funds (denominated in Philippine Peso) that achieved the highest returns from January to April 2020.

RankMutual Fund / ETFTypeJan-April 2020 Return
1Soldivo Bond FundBond Fund5.50%
2Philam Bond FundBond Fund2.52%
3First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income FundBond Fund2.43%
4Ekklesia Mutual FundBond Fund2.00%
5Philequity Peso Bond FundBond Fund1.96%
6Cocolife Fixed Income FundBond Fund1.65%
7Philam Managed Income FundBond Fund1.57%
8ATRAM Corporate Bond FundBond Fund1.40%
9ALFM Peso Bond FundBond Fund1.28%
10Sun Life Prosperity GS FundBond Fund1.26%

You might argue that some funds are certainly not comparable with each other since each fund has varying investment mandate. That’s true. A money market fund, for instance, is usually mandated to invest only in securities that mature in one year or less. As such, they do not compare well to an equity fund investing in high-risk, high return shares of stocks of a publicly listed company.

But if your primary goal is to quickly grow your money, your best bet is to invest in a fund that can provide the highest possible return, regardless of asset class. That’s our reason for identifying the 10 funds with the highest returns.

As can be seen below, the list of best performing funds from January to April 2020 is dominated purely by Bond Funds.

One would expect that Equity Funds would always yield the highest return compared to all asset classes. But this is not true all the time, especially during times of economic crises which we’re seeing at present in local and global markets. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), for example, is down 27% from January to April 2020. Thus Equity Funds that are invested in the PSE would likely follow the trend and incur steep losses too.

As investors flee stock markets, their funds in turn flow into the contrarian and more conservative asset class: Bonds and Fixed Income instruments. This explains why Bond Funds currently outperform Equity Funds, as summarized in the list below.

Best mutual funds in the Philippines in 2020

What about the comparative performance of mutual funds in their respective asset category? We summarize them below in the fund performance of MFs, ranked by type based on returns from the period January to April 2020. The figures below were sourced from the industry association of fund managers, Philippine Investment Funds Association.

Consistency of returns is something you should consider when choosing which funds to invest in. Don’t be blinded by “flash-in-the-pan” returns, or high profits in the short run which cannot be duplicated in succeeding years. This is also the reason why we show below the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year returns of funds so you can compare their longer-term performance.

Best Peso Equity Funds in 2020

RankPeso Equity FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Philequity Alpha One Fund-16.95%No dataNo dataNo data
2First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI Phils. IMI-21.70%-24.54%No dataNo data
3First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund-23.30%-26.39%-8.40%-6.81%
4Philam Strategic Growth Fund-24.24%-26.45%-9.10%-6.63%
5Philequity Dividend Yield Fund-25.05%-27.40%-9.02%-5.83%
6United Fund-25.35%-27.90%-7.13%-4.66%
7ALFM Growth Fund-25.39%-29.19%-11.10%-7.68%
8First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund-25.49%-28.35%-12.28%No data
9Philequity Fund-25.51%-27.94%-8.46%-5.76%
10Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund-26.53%-28.31%-9.24%No data
11Philippine Stock Index Fund-26.55%-28.19%-9.09%-5.76%
12PAMI Equity Index Fund-26.63%-28.68%-9.69%No data
13Philequity PSE Index Fund-26.65%-28.31%-9.11%-5.58%
14Philequity MSCI Philippine Index Fund-26.71%-29.19%No dataNo data
15MBG Equity Investment Fund-27.20%-40.33%No dataNo data
16Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment Fund-27.87%-31.25%No dataNo data
17Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund-28.60%-31.23%-9.96%-6.77%
18ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund-30.11%-40.76%-13.69%-8.67%
19ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund-31.27%-39.21%-15.72%-10.36%
20Soldivo Strategic Growth Fund-31.41%-38.27%-13.15%-9.81%

Best ETF in the Philippines in 2020

RankETFJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1First Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund-26.57%-28.04%-8.62%-4.94%

Best Dollar Equity Funds in 2020

RankDollar Equity FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager Fund-9.32%-4.03%3.37%No data
2ATRAM AsiaPlus Equity Fund-11.67%-12.11%-1.61%-3.61%

Best Balanced Funds in 2020

RankPeso Balanced FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1ATRAM Dynamic Allocation Fund-4.52%-13.93%-5.32%-4.94%
2NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils.-9.45%-7.88%-1.83%-1.60%
3ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund-9.99%-15.66%-5.55%-3.49%
4First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund-11.22%-12.07%-2.98%-4.36%
5Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2028-11.39%-10.79%No dataNo data
6PAMI Horizon Fund-12.38%-10.09%-3.42%-3.00%
7Philam Fund-12.48%-11.12%-3.62%-3.08%
8Solidaritas Fund-13.28%-14.24%-4.63%-2.90%
9Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced Fund-18.60%-18.93%-5.39%-4.03%
10First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic Fund-18.64%No dataNo dataNo data
11Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2038-20.07%-20.84%No dataNo data
12Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund-20.46%-21.30%-6.48%-5.54%
13Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2048-22.11%-23.02%No dataNo data

Best Dollar Balanced Mutual Funds in 2020

RankDollar Balanced FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder-0.73%4.52%2.31%1.35%
2Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund-5.88%-2.63%0.99%No data
3Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund-7.89%-3.77%2.41%1.54%
4PAMI Asia Balanced Fund-10.43%-6.25%-0.73%-2.29%

Best Bond Funds in 2020

RankPeso Bond FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Soldivo Bond Fund5.50%10.55%3.38%2.43%
2Philam Bond Fund2.52%10.81%3.59%-0.11%
3First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund2.43%7.09%2.97%5.11%
4Ekklesia Mutual Fund2.00%4.97%2.79%2.19%
5Philequity Peso Bond Fund1.96%6.72%3.61%1.75%
6Cocolife Fixed Income Fund1.65%4.86%5.15%2.13%
7Philam Managed Income Fund1.57%6.51%3.61%1.95%
8ATRAM Corporate Bond Fund1.40%2.25%0.91%1.85%
9ALFM Peso Bond Fund1.28%4.11%3.02%1.47%
10Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund1.26%7.40%4.03%2.85%
11Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond Fund1.23%7.60%4.49%2.47%

Best Dollar & Euro Bond Funds in 2020

RankDollar & Euro Bond FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1ALFM Dollar Bond Fund-0.06%2.88%2.24%2.38%
2First Metro Save and Learn Dollar Bond Fund-0.39%1.58%1.06%0.96%
3Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund-0.60%5.98%2.11%2.13%
4Philam Dollar Bond Fund-0.80%5.01%2.60%2.17%
5Philequity Dollar Income Fund-1.23%2.27%1.47%1.39%
6ATRAM Total Return Dollar Bond Fund-1.84%1.42%1.97%1.80%
7ALFM Euro Bond Fund-2.69%-1.03%0.45%0.56%
8PAMI Global Bond Fund-4.32%-1.62%-0.71%-0.98%

Best Money Market Funds in 2020

RankPeso Money Market FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1ALFM Money Market Fund1.22%3.79%3.08%2.32%
2First Metro Save and Learn Money Market Fund1.04%2.70%No dataNo data
3Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund1.02%3.34%2.99%2.52%

Best Dollar Money Market Mutual Funds in 2020

RankDollar Money Market FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter Fund0.40%1.65%No dataNo data

Best Feeder Funds in 2020

RankFeeder FundJan-April 2020 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income Fund-9.09%No dataNo dataNo data

“OK, I’m ready to invest! How do I begin investing?”

Hold it for a while and continue reading first to find out three (3) key considerations that you should think through before you put your money in Mutual Funds. Make sure you thoroughly assess these three things; otherwise, you might end up with unacceptable losses on your investment!

3 Things to Consider Before Investing in Mutual Funds

Without a doubt, returns or profits earned by the fund is one of the most important criteria when considering which mutual fund to invest in. But trust us when we say that this should not be your one and only criteria. Other factors should be considered because these, too, can affect the long-term performance of your investment.

Here are three (3) things about mutual funds that you should assess before choosing which ones should have your money.

Tips before investing in mutual funds

1. Long-Term Return (Consistent Performance) of the Fund

The fund performance, summarized by the rate of return or profit generated, is no doubt a very important consideration. But don’t get easily blinded by a fund’s outstanding performance in the short run. Take note: historical performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

You should focus instead on consistent performance over the long run, that is, preferably 3-year or 5-year returns of the fund. This is also the reason why we include the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year returns of mutual funds in the Fund Rankings tables.

You shouldn’t choose funds with returns that are “flash in the pan” — meaning, a winning streak for some period of time but cannot be replicated or repeated over the long run. We can’t tell you which specific rate of return would make a fund the best of the best, but choose one that consistently outperforms its own benchmark return or its peers in its category.

Here’s our tip!

In the case of equity mutual funds, choose funds that consistently beat the performance of the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi). For money market mutual funds, choose funds that beat the interest rates offered by Time Deposits in the Philippines with one-year maturity. For balanced funds and bond funds, each will have their own varying benchmark so check the fund prospectus or fund fact sheet to see if they’re outperforming their chosen benchmarks.

2. Investment Style of the Fund (Active vs. Passive Investing)

The performance of the fund is affected by the investment philosophy they adopted. The fund’s investment style could either be active or passive. Assess your investment objective here and determine if an actively or passively managed fund suits you better.

Actively managed funds are mutual funds managed by investment managers who make trading decisions with the goal of outperforming or beating a benchmark in order to achieve “alpha” returns.

Passively managed funds, in contrast, are mutual funds managed by investment managers with the simple goal of tracking and duplicating the performance of an index. Examples of passively managed funds are “index funds” or “Exchange Traded Funds” — both of which are explained in the succeeding section.

Here’s a table summarizing key differences between these two investment styles in fund management.

 Actively Managed FundsPassively Managed Funds
GoalOutperform the index and achieve "alpha" returnsMimic the index and achieve similar returns
Strategy"Beat the market""Set and forget"
Choice of SecuritiesMay invest in securities outside the benchmark index that could produce higher returnsLimited to investing in securities that are included in the benchmark index
FeesTypically charge higher fees as payment for expertise of the fund managerTypically charge lower fees since fund manager merely adopts index-linked strategy

Which one is better? Well, this depends on your assessment of your investment goal and risk appetite.

If you’re able to take more risks and you’re willing to trust the fund’s investment manager to make decisions that could potentially generate you higher profits (but take note, this could also lead to a possibility of loss), opt for actively managed funds.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to achieve returns that are very similar to the index without significant deviations from the performance of a given benchmark, then passively managed funds are the ones for you. For example, if your goal is to achieve similar returns achieved by the PSEi, opt for a PSEi Equity Index fund which tracks and mimics the performance of the PSE index. If you want potentially higher returns, or so-called “alpha returns” that attempt to outperform the index, choose Actively Managed funds.

3. Match between Investor Profile and Investment Choice

In the Philippines, there are generally four (4) types of asset classes in mutual funds (excluding “Feeder Funds”, which is a different type of fund and explained in detail below). The decision which one to choose should depend on your investment horizon and risk appetite.

We explain in detail each mutual fund type below. We also provide our suggested matching of investment fund based on your investment goal and personality to help you make an informed decision. This is explained in the latter section on “How to Invest in Mutual Funds”.

Mutual Funds Available in the Philippines

There are four (4) basic types of mutual funds, plus one special type (i.e., Feeder Fund), that are currently offered to investors in the Philippines. Learn more about them below.

What are EQUITY or STOCK Mutual Funds?

Equity Funds, also called Stock Funds, primarily invest in the shares of publicly-listed corporations. The fund’s objective is typically capital appreciation or long-term growth through capital gains. Simply speaking, money is made when the price of the company’s stock increases way above the purchase price. Dividends earned from the shares are also an important source of income for this type of fund.

Since equity funds primarily put majority of its investible assets on stocks, they carry relatively higher risk compared to other assets. Higher risk simply means there’s a higher possibility that the fund, and ultimately you the investor, will lose money. But with this higher risk comes the possibility of earning relatively higher returns as well compared to other types of funds.

Most peso-denominated equity funds in the Philippines invest in common stocks or preferred shares of companies whose shares are listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Some dollar-denominated funds, meanwhile, invest in stocks of foreign companies traded in foreign stock exchanges.

As mentioned earlier, the investment style of equity funds can be “actively managed” or “passively managed”.

The following table summarizes all “Actively Managed” equity funds in the Philippines, together with their currency denomination (Peso or US Dollar), and the company that manages and sells shares of the fund (fund manager).

List of Equity Funds in the Philippines in 2020

Equity Fund MFCurrencyFund Manager
ALFM Growth FundPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
ATRAM Alpha Opportunity FundPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Asiaplus Equity Fund,Inc.USDATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity FundPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment FundPHPCLIMBS Investment Management and Advisory Corp.
First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI PhilippinesPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save And Learn Equity FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
MBG Equity Investment FundPHPMBG Equity Investment Fund, Inc.
Philam Strategic Growth FundPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philequity Alpha One FundPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity Dividend Yield FundPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity FundPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity MSCI Philippine Index FundPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Soldivo Strategic Growth FundPHPRampver Financials
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager FundUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
United FundPHPCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.

Meanwhile, passively managed funds in the Philippines come in the form of Index Funds or Exchange Traded Funds.

What are Index Funds? They are named such because, as mentioned earlier, they track and attempt to mimic the performance of a benchmark index. Most index funds in the Philippines track the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), so expect index funds to have returns that are close to the PSEi’s return.

Examples of PSE index funds in the Philippines are as follows.

List of Index Funds in the Philippines in 2020

PSEi Index Fund MFFund Manager
First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index FundFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
PAMI Equity Index FundPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philequity PSE Index FundPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philippine Stock Index FundBPI Investment Management Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index FundSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.

An Exchange Traded Fund or ETF also tracks a benchmark index but, unlike Mutual Funds in the Philippines, ETF is traded and can be bought or sold any given day at the Philippine Stock Exchange. At present, there is only one ETF available in the Philippines. You can learn more about ETF in the article Investing in ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) in the Philippines.

List of ETF in the Philippines in 2020

ETFCurrencyFund Manager
First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.

What are BOND Mutual Funds?

Bond funds invest primarily in fixed-income securities issued by the government or large domestic corporations. Examples of fixed-income securities include government bonds (such as Treasury bills and RTB or Retail Treasury Bonds), corporate bonds, or LTNCD (Long Term Negotiable Certificate of Deposit). Because bulk of the fund’s investments are in securities with a fixed rate of return, bond funds are generally considered to be less risky versus equity funds.

List of Bond Funds in the Philippines in 2020

Bond Fund MFCurrencyFund Manager
ALFM Dollar Bond FundUSDBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Euro Bond FundEURBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Peso Bond FundPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
ATRAM Corporate Bond FundPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Total Return Bond FundUSDATR Asset Management Inc.
Cocolife Fixed Income FundPHPCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.
Ekklesia Mutual Fund Inc.PHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
First Metro Save & Learn Dollar Bond FundUSDFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save And Fixed Income FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
Grepalife Dollar Bond FundUSDGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
Grepalife Fixed Income FundPHPGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
PAMI Global Bond FundUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Bond FundPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Dollar Bond FundUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philequity Dollar Income FundUSDPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity Peso Bond FundPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Soldivo Bond FundPHPRampver Financials
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance FundUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity GS FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.

What are BALANCED Mutual Funds?

Balanced funds are a type of pooled funds invested in a mixture of equities and fixed-income securities, such as Bonds. The goal is to provide total return consisting of a high level of income consistent with preservation of capital and liquidity.

Balanced funds are ideal for investors who want the benefits of both stocks (capital appreciation) and fixed-income securities (preservation of capital).

List of Balanced Funds in the Philippines in 2020

Balanced Fund MFCurrencyFund Manager
ATRAM Dynamic Allocation FundPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Philippine Balanced FundPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
Cocolife Dollar Fund BuilderUSDCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.
First Metro Save And Learn Balanced FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
Grepalife Balanced FundPHPGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
NCM Mutual FundPHPBanco de Oro Trust Group
PAMI Asia Balanced FundUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
PAMI Horizon FundPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam FundPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Solidaritas FundPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2028PHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2038PHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2048PHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage FundUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring FundUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.

What are MONEY MARKET Mutual Funds?

Finally, money market funds provide current income to investors by placing the pooled funds in short-term securities with maturities of one year or less. Examples of investment assets that usually comprise the portfolio of a money market fund are short-term government securities (such as T-bills or Treasury bonds with 1-year maturities), special deposit arrangements, short-term notes, and time deposits.

Among the four types of investment funds, money market funds provide the least amount of risk.

List of Money Market Funds in the Philippines in 2020

Money Market Fund MFCurrencyFund Manager
ALFM Money Market FundPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
First Metro Save and Learn Money Market FundPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
Philam Managed Income FundPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter FundUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Money Market FundPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.

What are FEEDER Funds?

At present, there is one special fund offered in the Philippines, the ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income Fund managed by BPI Investment Management Inc., which invests the pooled money in a “Target Fund.” Instead of using the collected money to be invested directly in investment securities, they are invested and “feeded into” a target fund, which is usually just another Mutual Fund or ETF offered in another country.

List of Feeder Fund (Mutual Fund) in 2020

Feeder Fund MFCurrencyFund Manager
ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income FundUSDBPI Investment Management Inc.

How to Invest in Mutual Funds

Just like my experience when I first invested in mutual funds when I was 25 years old, opening a mutual fund account is actually easy. But first, you need to choose which mutual fund suits you best. To help you decide which funds are right for you, think about your investment objective, risk profile, and investment horizon.

How to Choose the Best Mutual Fund

For instance, if you’re looking for high returns (specifically, capital appreciation), you might want to invest in equity funds or balanced funds, provided that you are also willing to absorb potential losses (i.e., high tolerance for risk) and have no need for the invested capital in the short run (i.e., long-term investment horizon).

Equity or balanced funds are usually not advisable for an investor with a low tolerance for risk and with a short-term investment horizon. As risky investments, equity or balanced funds could fluctuate in prices and produce losses in the short run. The investor might decide to withdraw but, in the process, he or she could realize a loss on the investment. For these types of investors, a more conservative bond fund or money market fund might be more appropriate.

The following table summarizes the type of fund applicable to investors depending on the investment profile.

Mutual Funds based on your Investor Profile

Type of FundIncome ObjectiveRisk ToleranceInvestment Period
Equity FundCapital AppreciationHigh RiskLong-term (At least 5 years)
Balanced FundTotal ReturnMedium RiskMid- to Long-term (3 to 5 years)
Bond FundCurrent IncomeMedium RiskShort- to Mid-term (1 to 3 years)
Money Market FundCapital PreservationLow RiskShort-term (1 year or less)
Feeder FundCapital AppreciationHigh RiskLong-term (At least 5 years)

For example, an investor with an income objective of capital growth and with high risk tolerance (that is, able to absorb potential loss of money) and with long-term investment horizon (at least 5 years) will benefit greatly by investing in an equity mutual fund.

Meanwhile, an investor whose income goal is merely to preserve capital and with relatively low risk tolerance (i.e., not willing to accept monetary loss) with a short-term investment horizon (a few months to one year) would find money market fund a more appropriate investment option.

How to Open a Mutual Fund Account (Step-by-Step Guide)

Ready to invest? Just follow this simple 5-step guide to begin your mutual fund investing journey.

How to open a mutual fund investment

Step 1: Choose a fund you want to invest in.

We provide below an alphabetical list of all currently available mutual funds in the country.

Choose the fund/s that you like and which match your investment goal and risk appetite, as explained in the earlier section on “3 things to consider before investing in Mutual Funds.”

Alphabetical List of Philippine Mutual Funds in 2020

Mutual FundTypeCurrencyFund Manager
ALFM Dollar Bond FundBondUSDBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Euro Bond FundBondEURBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Global Multi-Asset Income FundFeeder FundUSDBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Growth FundEquityPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Money Market FundMoney MarketPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
ALFM Peso Bond FundBondPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
ATRAM Alpha Opportunity FundEquityPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Asiaplus Equity Fund,Inc.EquityUSDATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Corporate Bond FundBondPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Dynamic Allocation FundBalancedPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Philippine Balanced FundBalancedPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity FundEquityPHPATR Asset Management Inc.
ATRAM Total Return Bond FundBondUSDATR Asset Management Inc.
Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment FundEquityPHPCLIMBS Investment Management and Advisory Corp.
Cocolife Dollar Fund BuilderBalancedUSDCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.
Cocolife Fixed Income FundBondPHPCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.
Ekklesia Mutual Fund Inc.BondPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI PhilippinesEquityPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded FundETFPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save & Learn Dollar Bond FundBondUSDFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save And Fixed Income FundBondPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save And Learn Balanced FundBalancedPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save And Learn Equity FundEquityPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic FundBalancedPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save and Learn Money Market FundMoney MarketPHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index FundEquity (Index Fund)PHPFirst Metro Asset Management Inc.
Grepalife Balanced FundBalancedPHPGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
Grepalife Dollar Bond FundBondUSDGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
Grepalife Fixed Income FundBondPHPGrepalife Asset Management Corp.
MBG Equity Investment FundEquityPHPMBG Equity Investment Fund, Inc.
NCM Mutual FundBalancedPHPBanco de Oro Trust Group
PAMI Asia Balanced FundBalancedUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
PAMI Equity Index FundEquity (Index Fund)PHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
PAMI Global Bond FundBondUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
PAMI Horizon FundBalancedPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Bond FundBondPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Dollar Bond FundBondUSDPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam FundBalancedPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Managed Income FundMoney MarketPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philam Strategic Growth FundEquityPHPPhilam Asset Management, Inc
Philequity Alpha One FundEquityPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity Dividend Yield FundEquityPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity Dollar Income FundBondUSDPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity FundEquityPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity MSCI Philippine Index FundEquityPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity Peso Bond FundBondPHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philequity PSE Index FundEquity (Index Fund)PHPPhilequity Management, Inc.
Philippine Stock Index FundEquity (Index Fund)PHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
Soldivo Bond FundBondPHPRampver Financials
Soldivo Strategic Growth FundEquityPHPRampver Financials
Solidaritas FundBalancedPHPBPI Investment Management Inc.
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced FundBalancedPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond FundBondPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2028BalancedPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2038BalancedPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2048BalancedPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance FundBondUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage FundBalancedUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter FundMoney MarketUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring FundBalancedUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic FundBalancedPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity GS FundBondPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Money Market FundMoney MarketPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity FundEquityPHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index FundEquity (Index Fund)PHPSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager FundEquityUSDSun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.
United FundEquityPHPCocolife Asset Management Company, Inc.

Step 2: Find a licensed agent selling the fund.

You probably know this already, but you’ll need to find a mutual fund agent to assist you in opening an account. The agent is a requirement; you won’t be allowed to open an account unless you have an agent. 

Fact: the sales load charged to your account, either the front-end sales load during account opening or the back-end sales load upon withdrawing your investment, is actually a commission paid to your agent.

If you personally do not know any agent, you may visit the mutual fund company’s office or contact the company. An agent will be assigned to you.

At present, there are two companies that allow investors to directly invest in Mutual Funds online without the need for an investor to look for an agent. These two companies are COL Financial, which operates COL Fund Source, and First Metro Securities, which operates Fundsmart.

The two platforms are basically the same. Investors may open an account and, through the investor’s online account with these companies, can choose to invest in a variety of mutual funds offered in the Philippines. In this case, COL Financial and First Metro Securities themselves are the authorized mutual fund agents.

Step 3: Complete the application documents.

Prospective mutual fund investors will normally be asked to complete three forms prior to investing:

  • Personal Information Sheet or Application Form
  • Investor Profile Questionnaire or Investor Assessment Form; and
  • Order Ticket or Online Order Form

The forms may vary depending on the mutual fund company, but they are pretty much the same thing.

The Personal Information Sheet or Application Form requires you to complete your personal details. The Investor Profile or Investor Assessment Form, meanwhile, evaluates and identifies your risk tolerance and investment goal. Finally, the Order Ticket or Online Order Form contains your specific instruction on the type and number of mutual fund shares you want to purchase.

Step 4: Fund your investment by paying in authorized payment centers.

Make sure you transact with an authorized representative of mutual fund companies! There have been instances in the past wherein a supposed agent did not remit the investment to the mutual fund company. Unfortunately, I had this exact experience with a mutual fund agent who was even a relative of mine.

Scammed by a mutual fund agent

I opened a mutual fund account with my uncle as agent of a popular mutual fund company in the Philippines. During the initial years, I never had problems topping up my investment by simply giving him the money. He told me that it’s actually his responsibility as agent to help me process my additional investments. I agreed to the setup because it was also convenient for me, since I never had to personally visit the mutual fund office.

And then one day, when I checked my account, it was missing a few thousand pesos that I gave to my uncle as additional investment. He confessed that he took the money and never added it to my account. Good thing that he repaid me after a few months, but I decided to find a new agent after that incident.

The lesson, therefore, is to make sure you transact only with legitimate and trustworthy representatives of the company. Better yet, make the payment yourself in the mutual fund company’s office, branch, or authorized payment outlets. You may deposit your investment in local banks that already have partnerships with the mutual fund or make online investments if allowed. Upon payment, make sure you secure a copy of the payment receipt and the processed Order Ticket as proof of your investment.

Step 5: Regularly monitor your investment.

Ask your agent how you can regularly check the status of your investment. Some funds give you online access where you can track your portfolio, so open an online account to easily track your investment’s performance. Some funds merely provide NAVPS updates via email or postal mail, which means you’ll have to make your own manual computations regarding your earnings.

To help you understand how much exactly you’re earning from your mutual fund investment, here’s a simple guide to do your own computations.

How you Make Money in Mutual Funds

Investors make money when the mutual fund increases in value. This happens because a mutual fund can earn in two ways:

  1. From the capital gain, or increase in value, of the securities held and owned by the fund; and
  2. Through dividend or interest income received from the assets held by the fund.

Proceeds from these earnings, merely reduced by the fund’s operating charges and other expenses, are passed along as income to investors of the mutual fund. The value of each share of the mutual fund is called Net Asset Value per Share (NAVPS).

NAV is calculated daily based on the fund’s total asset value divided by the total number of outstanding shares of the fund. If the NAV is increasing, then that means mutual fund investors are making money from the fund. If the NAV is decreasing, then this means the fund is losing value and the investors are losing money.

Let’s see below how the NAVPS is actually computed.

How NAVPS is computed

If you’re still at a loss regarding how earnings in Mutual Funds are computed, don’t fret. It’s actually easy if you just follow our step-by-step guide so that you yourself can personally compute the gains (or losses) of your mutual fund investment.

Step 1: Determine the number of shares you own

You know this now: when you invest in mutual funds, you’re actually buying “shares” of the mutual fund company. Each share is priced using the NAVPS or the Net Asset Value per Share, a figure that changes every day since it represents the “market value” of all investments owned by the mutual fund company.

Let’s assume you wish to invest P100,000 in a Mutual Fund. You checked and saw that the mutual fund’s NAVPS price is currently P1.75. Given this NAVPS value, if you invest P100,000 you will receive 57,142 shares of this mutual fund, computed as follows:

  • P100,000 divided by P1.75 = 57,142 shares

The total value, therefore, of your mutual fund investment that day is P99,998.50, computed as follows:

  • 57,142 shares x P1.75 NAVPS = P99,998.50

Does this mean the entire P100,000 is not fully invested? You’re correct, and you actually will get a change of P1.50 from the company. (Some companies, though, will just give you a fraction of the shares valued at P1.50 so that they will no longer have to give you back the P1.50 change. We will not consider that, however, in this example.)

For simplicity purposes, we will also not consider any fees or sales loads charged by the fund. Do note, though, that most funds will charge a fee either upon investment (entry fee or front-end sales load) or when redeeming your mutual fund shares (exit fee or back-end sales load).

Step 2: Determine the current NAVPS

At any day, you can compute the value of your mutual fund investment. The only two things you need to know are:

  1. Number of shares you own; and
  2. NAVPS price on that day

Let’s assume that at the end of one year, the NAVPS of your mutual fund increased to P2.50.

To calculate the profit, here’s what you simply have to do. Get the difference between the current NAVPS and the NAVPS when you originally bought the shares. Then multiply this figure with the total number of shares you own to get the amount of your profit.

Mathematically, the computation steps are:

  • Current NAVPS = P2.50
  • Original NAVPS when you bought the shares = P1.75
  • Difference in NAVPS prices = P2.50 – P1.75 = P0.75
  • Number of Shares you Own = 57,142 (from Step 1 above)
  • Profit = Difference in NAVPS price x Number of Shares you Own
  • So your Total Profit = P0.75 x 57,142 = P42,856.50

This means your P100,000 investment has already produced you a profit of P42,856.50. Not bad!

Alternatively, you can just compare the current total fund value and the initial fund value. The “current total fund value” is the product of (meaning, multiply!) the number of shares you own and the current NAVPS price. The “initial fund value,” meanwhile, is the product of the number of shares you own and the original NAVPS price.

Mathematically:

  • Current fund value = 57,142 shares x P2.50 NAVPS = P142,855.00
  • Beginning fund value = 57,142 shares x P1.75 NAVPS = P99,998.50
  • Difference in fund values = Total Profit =P142,855.00 – P99,998.50 = P42,856.50

As you can see, this computation results in the same amount of profit we computed using the other formula above.

One important point to remember, though. This profit is still “paper profit” or “unrealized income.” That’s because you have not redeemed the shares yet. Any day afterwards, the NAVPS could still change which means your fund value (and profit) will also change. And when that happens, whatever “paper profit” you have computed become irrelevant.

We’ll show this in the next example.

Step 3: Calculate actual profit at time of redemption

Let’s assume it’s now the 2nd year and you wanted to encash and redeem your shares.

Before we proceed, we’ll highlight again that the fund value and your profits at the end of Year 1 are now irrelevant. Yup, they are NOT important anymore at this point. Whatever “profit” you have previously gained was not “realized” since you did not redeem the shares.

Let’s assume that at the end of Year 2, the NAVPS price is P2.00. As in Step 2, we can compute the profit by comparing the current and original NAVPS:

  • Current NAVPS = P2.00
  • Original NAVPS = P1.75
  • Difference in NAVPS prices = P2.00 – P1.75 = P0.25
  • Number of Shares Owned = 57,142
  • Profit = P0.25 x 57,142 = P14,285.50

At the end of Year 2, your mutual fund investment has earned profits of P14,285.50.

If you redeemed all 57,142 shares, you will get P14,285.50 cash as profit.

The total money you would get from the mutual fund is this profit plus the original investment (P14,285.50 + P99,998.50), which totals P114,284.00.

The total cash proceeds, which you’ll receive upon redemption, can also be computed this way:

  • Current NAVPS = P2.00
  • Number of Shares Owned = 57,142
  • Total Fund Value = P2.00 x 57,142 = P114,284.00

Again, be reminded that this computation does not consider any fees charged by the fund. Your fund value may be reduced by any exit fees or back-end sales loads charged by the mutual fund.

Past Rankings of Best Philippine Mutual Funds

For the entire year 2019, we looked at the overall performance of all mutual funds in the Philippines and ranked below the top 10 mutual funds with the highest returns from January to December 2019.

Ranking of Best Mutual Funds in the Philippines

*PinoyMoneyTalk’s Guide on How to Invest in Franchises, UITF, Mutual Funds, and ETF:


(2019) Top 10 Overall Best Mutual Funds

RankMutual Fund / ETFTypeJan-Dec 2019 Return
1Philam Bond FundBond Fund11.54%
2Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond FundBond Fund11.18%
3Sun Life Prosperity GS FundBond Fund10.47%
4Soldivo Bond FundBond Fund8.16%
5PAMI Horizon FundBalanced Fund7.62%
6Philequity Peso Bond FundBond Fund7.38%
7First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income FundBond Fund6.97%
8Philam FundBalanced Fund6.88%
9NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils.Balanced Fund6.51%
10Philam Managed Income FundMoney Market Fund6.29%

Interestingly enough, in 2019, equity funds seem to have taken a backseat in terms of returns. Bond funds and balanced funds are the top performers, generating as much as double-digit returns while stock funds merely settled in the single-digit, just like the PSEi’s full-year 2019 return of 4.68%.

In addition, even money market funds — which are typically mandated to invest in securities with maturities of 1 year or less — managed to outperform stock funds. This only goes to show that investing in equity funds don’t give an assurance of relatively higher returns year after year after year.

If you’re already set to invest in a particular type of mutual fund, say, bond fund or balanced fund, but are still unsure which specific fund to invest in, then you’ll surely find useful our full ranking below of mutual funds by asset class.

Here’s a listing of all funds, categorized by asset class, showing individual fund performance (measured by gain or loss), from the beginning of January 2019 until the end of December 2019.

(2019) Best Equity Mutual Funds in the Philippines

 Peso Equity FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Philequity PSE Index Fund5.72%5.93%6.43%1.95%
2Philippine Stock Index Fund5.63%5.85%6.34%1.90%
3Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund5.25%5.46%6.07%No Data
4United Fund4.86%5.07%7.37%2.65%
5PAMI Equity Index Fund4.58%4.79%5.79%No Data
6Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund4.21%4.48%5.45%0.99%
7First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI Phils. IMI3.95%4.21%No DataNo Data
8Philam Strategic Growth Fund3.93%4.26%4.32%-0.01%
9Philequity Fund3.87%4.10%5.64%0.66%
10Philequity Dividend Yield Fund3.02%3.22%4.69%0.70%
11First Metro Save and Learn Philippine Index Fund2.39%3.07%0.06%No Data
12First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund1.36%1.92%4.23%-0.59%
13ALFM Growth Fund0.33%0.62%3.07%-0.43%
14Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment Fund0.21%1.20%No DataNo Data
15Soldivo Strategic Growth Fund-0.60%-0.33%3.07%No Data
16ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund-4.33%-2.68%2.04%-3.36%
17ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund-5.31%-4.94%0.05%-3.17%
18MBG Equity Investment Fund-10.98%-12.80%No DataNo Data
19Philequity Alpha One FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
20Philequity MSCI Philippine Index FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best ETF in the Philippines

 ETFJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1First Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund5.96%6.18%7.07%2.88%

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Dollar Equity Funds in the Philippines

 Dollar Equity FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager Fund24.06%25.73%9.76%No Data
2ATRAM AsiaPlus Equity Fund10.16%11.70%7.40%1.00%

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Balanced Mutual Funds in the Philippines

 Peso Balanced FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1PAMI Horizon Fund7.62%7.65%3.50%0.50%
2Philam Fund6.88%7.06%3.39%0.42%
3NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils.6.51%6.59%3.93%1.28%
4Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund6.18%6.28%3.95%-0.12%
5Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced Fund6.11%6.36%4.44%0.82%
6First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund3.67%4.11%3.95%-0.99%
7Solidaritas Fund3.18%3.24%2.98%1.14%
8Grepalife Balanced Fund1.92%2.04%No DataNo Data
9ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund-1.02%-0.58%0.28%-1.26%
10ATRAM Dynamic Allocation Fund-5.11%-5.04%-1.39%-3.95%
11First Metro Save and Learn F.O.C.C.U.S. Dynamic FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
11Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2028No DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
11Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2038No DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
11Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Fund 2048No DataNo DataNo DataNo Data

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Dollar Balanced Funds in the Philippines

 Dollar Balanced FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund17.71%18.15%7.76%4.06%
2PAMI Asia Balanced Fund13.01%-0.14%5.71%1.19%
3Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund11.92%12.38%4.61%No Data
4Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder8.13%8.38%3.09%2.01%

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Bond Mutual Funds in the Philippines

 Peso Bond FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Philam Bond Fund11.54%11.54%2.85%1.77%
2Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond Fund11.18%11.35%4.90%2.67%
3Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund10.47%10.63%4.45%2.21%
4Soldivo Bond Fund8.16%8.01%1.52%No Data
5Philequity Peso Bond Fund7.38%7.75%2.99%1.42%
6First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund6.97%6.81%2.39%1.58%
7Cocolife Fixed Income Fund4.64%4.88%5.21%5.21%
8Ekklesia Mutual Fund4.44%4.35%2.46%1.96%
9ALFM Peso Bond Fund4.18%4.21%2.83%2.33%
10Grepalife Fixed Income Fund2.69%2.80%0.99%-0.13%
11ATRAM Corporate Bond Fund2.27%2.32%0.02%-0.50%

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Dollar & Euro Bond Funds in the Philippines

 Dollar / Euro Bond FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Philam Dollar Bond Fund10.65%10.63%3.70%2.97%
2Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund10.43%10.41%3.06%2.58%
3ATRAM Total Return Dollar Bond Fund7.16%7.24%3.24%2.58%
4Philequity Dollar Income Fund5.87%5.89%2.31%1.99%
5PAMI Global Bond Fund5.47%17.84%1.54%-0.80%
6ALFM Dollar Bond Fund4.38%4.43%2.72%2.77%
7First Metro Save and Learn Dollar Bond Fund4.03%3.61%1.46%1.29%
8ALFM Euro Bond Fund3.31%3.34%1.65%1.31%
9Grepalife Dollar Bond Fund1.12%1.09%-0.03%0.13%

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Money Market Mutual Funds in the Philippines

 Peso Money Market FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Philam Managed Income Fund6.29%6.35%3.04%1.71%
2ALFM Money Market Fund4.05%4.11%2.86%2.18%
3Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund3.68%3.74%2.88%2.34%
4First Metro Save and Learn Money Market FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

(2019) Best Dollar Money Market Funds in the Philippines

 Dollar Money Market FundJan-Dec 2019 Return1-Year Return3-Year Return5-Year Return
1Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter Fund2.09%2.11%No DataNo Data

* Full-year performance, from January 2019 to December 2019.

Checking again the list of “Top 10 Best Performing Funds in 2019” infographic above, some of you might argue that there is no point comparing all mutual funds since equity mutual funds will always emerge as top performers.

That’s because these funds are invested in stocks and stocks, no doubt, generate the highest profits every year. Well, guess what, this is NOT true all the time!

In fact, we monitored the historical returns of mutual fund companies in the Philippines from 2016 to 2018, and our conclusion is that:

  • 1. No single class of mutual funds — whether equity or balance or bond funds — was able to dominate returns year after year; and
  • 2. Interestingly, there were years that Bond Funds, not Equity Funds, made more money; while in some years, Money Market Funds even managed to outperform Balanced Funds.

Top 10 Best Performing Mutual Funds (2018)

In 2018, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) ended the year with a dismal performance of -12.76%. This meant an amount of P100,000 invested at the PSEi at the beginning of 2018 was just worth P87,240.00 — a loss of P12,760 — by the end of December 2018.

Unsurprisingly, equity mutual funds performed poorly, which is why the list of Top 10 Mutual Funds in 2018 is actually dominated by “Bond Mutual Funds” as seen in the table above.

Money market mutual funds, supposedly the most conservative category of funds, managed to have 3 funds in the Top 10 list — proof again that any type of fund can be the best performing given the prevailing sentiment in the market.

Also notice that only seven (7) funds, out of dozens of mutual funds in the list, managed to end the year with a positive gain. All the rest incurred a loss. This is the reason why, even though we’re showing the Top 10 best performing funds, the last 3 in the list obtained negative performance, but these are supposedly the best ones already with the least amount of losses compared to other funds.

Top 10 Best Performing Mutual Funds (2017)

The year 2017 was again a banner year for equity mutual funds in the Philippines. With the PSEi reaching all-time high levels that year, the list of Top 10 Best Mutual Funds in 2017 was all filled by equity funds.

RankMutual FundType2017 Return (in %)
1Philequity PSE Index FundEquity Mutual Fund24.71%
2United FundEquity Mutual Fund24.57%
3Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index FundEquity Mutual Fund24.56%
4Philippine Stock Index FundEquity Mutual Fund24.39%
5PAMI Equity Index FundEquity Mutual Fund24.08%
6Philequity FundEquity Mutual Fund23.01%
7Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity FundEquity Mutual Fund22.04%
8First Metro Save and Learn Equity FundEquity Mutual Fund22.02%
9ALFM Growth FundEquity Mutual Fund21.77%
10ATRAM Alpha Opportunity FundEquity Mutual Fund21.46%

Top 10 Best Performing Mutual Funds (2016)

RankMutual FundType2016 Return (in %)
1ATRAM Alpha Opportunity FundEquity Mutual Fund11.71%
2Cocolife Fixed Income FundBond Mutual Fund5.85%
3ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity FundEquity Mutual Fund4.86%
4ATRAM Philippine Balanced FundBalanced Mutual Fund3.39%
5ALFM Peso Bond FundBond Mutual Fund2.06%
6Sun Life Prosperity Money Market FundMoney Market Mutual Fund1.90%
7Ekklesia Mutual FundBond Mutual Fund1.56%
8Philam Bond FundBond Mutual Fund1.22%
9ALFM Money Market FundMoney Market Mutual Fund1.13%
10Soldivo Bond FundBond Mutual Fund0.51%

And yet in 2016, it was again a different story for mutual fund companies. Bond mutual funds dominated the list that year, with 5 funds being included in the Top 10 list.

Meanwhile, only 2 equity funds managed to break into the Top 10, with 2 money market funds and 1 balanced fund completing the list.

With this, we hope we’ve helped you decide which mutual fund is best for you! Happy investing!

Source of Fund Performance: Philippine Investment Funds Association (PIFA)


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7 thoughts on “Best Mutual Funds to Invest in the Philippines in 2020”

    1. You’re getting extensively researched content that is free, for which you didn’t spend a single centavo to access. If you really support PMT, the most you can do is click on their ads and the least is to not complain about it.

  1. Thank you very much for sharing. The information is really useful. Does Filipino regulators disclose monthly sales of individual mutual fund, UITF and insurance-linked products somewhere? OR some industry association disclose such data separately? Do you mind replying to my email in the following?

  2. Thank you for the comprehensive info. I just want to ask more details about having no death benefits for UITF and Mutual Funds. Does that mean that the upon investor’s sudden death, his assets will just go to the government and no any way for his legal beneficiaries to get it even if he has a will?
    Thanks and looking forward to your reply.

  3. Thank you James!
    When I started investing, I also don’t know how to do it correctly so as not to lose my money. After getting acquainted with these types of earnings, I realized that it is best to transfer my finances to professionals (I don’t want to lose my money). For more than 2 years I have been working with term deposit rates on the authorised investment fund https://einvestment.com/. Currently, there are more than 10 companies in my portfolio.

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