2019 Mutual Fund Guide: Profit from These Trends

Funds are lowering expense ratios — and more than ever are free. Here’s how to take advantage of this changing landscape.

Blue Stock Market Graph
(Image credit: Getty Images/Hemera)

Change is inevitable, as Benjamin Disraeli, the 19th-century British prime minister, once said. He was talking about society. But it’s also true in the nearly $16 trillion world of mutual funds—and we’re not just talking about recent gyrations in the financial markets. Take the past year. For the first time in history, mom-and-pop investors can invest in free mutual funds. The four funds, all Fidelity index funds, charge no annual fees. “I used to say expense ratios can’t get to zero,” says Sean Collins, chief economist at the Investment Company Institute, “and I’ve had to change my tune.”

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.