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Best Mutual Funds to Invest in 2019

How did your Mutual Fund investments perform last year?

The new year 2019 has already started but let’s take a step back and see how Philippine mutual fund companies fared in 2018.

In this article, we’ll revisit the rankings and returns of Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in the Philippines. We ranked these pooled investment funds from the best performing, that is, with the highest gains in 2018, to the worst performing or those with the biggest full-year losses. 

Top 3 Peso Equity Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. United Fund: -10.12%
  2. Philequity Dividend Yield Fund: -10.53%
  3. ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund: -10.68%

Top 3 Peso Balanced Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils.: -7.42%
  2. Solidaritas Fund: -7.61%
  3. First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund: -8.22%

Top 3 Dollar Balanced Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder: -2.52%
  2. Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund: -9.58%
  3. Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund: -9.76%

Top 3 Peso Bond Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. Cocolife Fixed Income Fund: +5.25%
  2. ALFM Peso Bond Fund: +1.86%
  3. Ekklesia Mutual Fund: +1.34%

Top 3 Foreign Currency Bond Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. ALFM Dollar Bond Fund: 0.52%
  2. Philequity Dollar Income Fund: -0.36%
  3. First Metro Save and Learn Dollar Bond Fund: -0.40%

Top 3 Peso Money Market Mutual Funds in 2018

  1. Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund: +2.79%
  2. ALFM Money Market Fund: +2.73%
  3. Philam Managed Income Fund: +2.08%

As you can see, even the Top 3 best performing funds above performed poorly in 2018 showing negative returns. This is because last year was truly a chaotic year for Philippine markets, with the Philippine stock market ending 2018 with a full-year loss of -12.76%. This means an investment of P100,000 made at the beginning of last year is just worth P87,240.00 by the end of last year.

(See also: Top PSE Stocks to Watch in 2019)

If you’re one of the disappointed investors who invested their money in Mutual Funds or ETF, take note that all investments carry with them a certain amount of risk so ensure that you venture into these funds knowing that there is a likely possibility that you can lose money. If you do not possess the required risk appetite, choose safer investments instead such as Time Deposits or Bonds or other assets with lower associated risk.

2018 Performance of All Mutual Funds and ETF in the Philippines

Here’s the complete list of Mutual Funds and ETFs ranked in terms of returns generated from January to December last year.

Profits / Losses in 2018

 PESO EQUITY FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1United Fund-10.12%-8.63%3.48%4.07%
2Philequity Dividend Yield Fund-10.53%-9.79%2.16%No Data
3ATRAM Alpha Opportunity Fund-10.68%-10.94%7.22%3.17%
4Philequity Fund-10.72%-10.01%2.59%4.91%
5Soldivo Strategic Growth Fund-10.97%-10.15%0.02%No Data
6Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Equity Fund-11.26%-10.59%1.83%3.17%
7Philippine Stock Index Fund-12.20%-11.51%2.07%4.90%
8Philequity PSE Index Fund-12.40%-11.72%2.31%4.76%
9Climbs Share Capital Equity Investment Fund-12.41%-11.97%No DataNo Data
10First Metro Save and Learn Equity Fund-12.45%-11.68%-0.10%2.17%
11Philam Strategic Growth Fund-12.48%-11.62%0.47%2.32%
12Sun Life Prosperity Philippine Stock Index Fund-12.51%-11.84%2.11%No Data
13PAMI Equity Index Fund-12.52%-11.63%1.62%No Data
14ALFM Growth Fund-14.03%-13.38%0.59%2.96%
15ATRAM Philippine Equity Opportunity Fund-14.96%-14.26%2.11%1.26%
16One Wealthy Nation Fund-15.88%-15.24%No DataNo Data
17First Metro Consumer Fund on MSCI Phils. IMINo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
18MBG Equity Investment FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data

Profits / Losses in 2018

 PESO EQUITY ETF2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1First Metro Phil. Equity Exchange Traded Fund-11.89%-11.19%3.22%5.97%

Profits / Losses in 2018

 DOLLAR EQUITY FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1Sun Life Prosperity World Voyager Fund-13.82%-13.48%No DataNo Data
2ATRAM AsiaPlus Equity Fund-16.48%-14.90%1.43%-0.60%

Profits / Losses in 2018

 PESO BALANCED FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1NCM Mutual Fund of the Phils.-7.42%-6.60%0.98%2.42%
2Solidaritas Fund-7.61%-7.24%1.07%2.90%
3First Metro Save and Learn Balanced Fund-8.22%-7.66%-1.83%-0.98%
4Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Balanced Fund-8.56%-8.09%0.60%1.65%
5Philam Fund-9.36%-8.62%-0.14%1.48%
6Sun Life Prosperity Dynamic Fund-9.71%-8.96%-0.28%No Data
7PAMI Horizon Fund-9.76%-8.95%-0.19%1.65%
8ATRAM Philippine Balanced Fund-10.07%-9.54%1.10%1.06%
9Grepalife Balanced Fund-10.23%-9.86%No DataNo Data
10ATRAM Dynamic Allocation Fund-11.26%-10.67%-1.78%-0.98%

Profits / Losses in 2018

 DOLLAR BALANCED FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1Cocolife Dollar Fund Builder-2.52%-2.49%-0.18%1.65%
2Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Wellspring Fund-9.58%-9.30%No DataNo Data
3Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Advantage Fund-9.76%-9.44%2.18%0.61%
4PAMI Asia Balanced Fund-11.61%-11.78%1.63%-1.33%

Profits / Losses in 2018

 PESO BOND FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1Cocolife Fixed Income Fund5.25%5.40%5.35%5.25%
2ALFM Peso Bond Fund1.86%1.94%2.14%1.86%
3Ekklesia Mutual Fund1.34%1.35%1.78%1.35%
4Philequity Peso Bond Fund0.25%0.41%0.86%0.48%
5First Metro Save and Learn Fixed Income Fund-0.33%-0.23%0.13%0.29%
6Sun Life of Canada Prosperity Bond Fund-0.44%-0.49%1.35%0.73%
7Sun Life Prosperity GS Fund-0.70%-0.65%0.85%0.24%
8ATRAM Corporate Bond Fund-1.88%-2.40%-0.69%-0.49%
9Grepalife Fixed Income Fund-2.83%-2.82%0.08%-0.71%
10Philam Bond Fund-3.21%-2.96%-0.17%-0.06%
11Soldivo Bond Fund-3.33%-3.02%-0.76%No Data

Profits / Losses in 2018

 FOREIGN CURRENCY BOND FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1ALFM Dollar Bond Fund0.52%0.61%2.35%3.07%
2Philequity Dollar Income Fund-0.36%-0.75%0.92%1.86%
3First Metro Save and Learn Dollar Bond Fund-0.40%-0.40%0.82%No Data
4ALFM Euro Bond Fund-0.52%-0.52%1.04%1.58%
5ATRAM Total Return Dollar Bond Fund-0.78%-0.82%0.95%1.89%
6Philam Dollar Bond Fund-3.56%-3.44%0.92%2.66%
7PAMI Global Bond Fund-3.70%-3.21%-0.65%-2.37%
8Grepalife Dollar Bond Fund-4.58%-4.43%-0.39%1.12%
9Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund-4.69%-4.53%0.42%1.66%
10MAA Privilege Dollar Fixed Income FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data
11MAA Privilege Euro Fixed Income FundNo DataNo DataNo DataNo Data

Profits / Losses in 2018

 PESO MONEY MARKET FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1Sun Life Prosperity Money Market Fund2.79%2.66%2.27%1.59%
2ALFM Money Market Fund2.73%2.78%1.89%1.57%
3Philam Managed Income Fund2.08%2.08%0.66%0.51%

Profits / Losses in 2018

 DOLLAR MONEY MARKET FUNDS2018 Gain (Loss) %1-Year Gain (Loss) %3-year Gain (Loss) %5-year Gain (Loss) %
1Sun Life Prosperity Dollar Starter Fund1.69%1.67%No DataNo Data

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

What are Mutual Funds?

Mutual Funds are pooled investment schemes where money collected from a variety of investors are invested by professional fund managers in different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and money market instruments, among others.

They probably don’t know it but mutual fund investors become shareholders of the fund, which means they become part-owners of the company. That gives investors the right to vote in important matters related to the fund and to share in the distribution of profits, among other rights typically given to shareholders.

What to look for in a Mutual Fund

But first, our regular disclaimer: returns alone should NOT be used as sole criteria when deciding which fund to invest in. Although returns are typically a good measure of performance, other factors such as the fund’s consistency in sustaining returns and exposure to risks must also be considered.

“Consistency in returns” refers to a mutual fund or ETF’s ability to deliver expected performance over a long period of time. This is why we include below the past 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year returns so you can see the historical performance of a fund.

Still, we agree with this basic investment tenet: Historical returns are not a guarantee of future performance. To reiterate, you cannot predict the future performance of a fund just by looking at its past performance.

“Exposure to risk,” meanwhile, refers to volatility in the returns achieved by the fund and deviations from expected returns. These are calculated by financial indicators such as the Sharpe ratio, r-squared, beta, or standard deviation. Look for these figures in the fund fact sheet or performance reports to determine the risk exposure of the investment fund.

Resources on Mutual Funds, Unit Investment Trust Funds, and ETF:

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