The 7 Best Stock Funds for Retirement Savers in 2018

If you choose active fund management, be prepared to be a patient stock investor.

(Image credit: Andrew BrookesAB Still Ltd)

There has been a lot of talk lately to the effect that index funds are the only sensible way to invest. I’ve even come across investors who seem to confuse expense ratios with total returns, as if low fees, not profits, were the holy grail of investing. I’ve been writing about investing for about 25 years, and I’ve seen too many firms, investment styles and managers go from being the only way to invest to being the worst possible way to invest. That’s why, although I’m a fan of indexing, I also think there’s a place for active stock picking in your fund portfolio, whether you’re investing for retirement or already in retirement.

But if you want to invest in actively managed funds for the long haul, you must remember that fund managers have to differ from the market indexes to beat the indexes. Unfortunately, following a different path means that even the best funds will go through extended periods—often two or three years at a stretch—when they lag their benchmark.

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Steven Goldberg
Contributing Columnist,
Steve has been writing for Kiplinger's for more than 25 years. As an associate editor and then senior associate editor, he covered mutual funds for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine from 1994-2006. He also authored a book, But Which Mutual Funds? In 2006 he joined with Jerry Tweddell, one of his best sources on investing, to form Tweddell Goldberg Investment Management to manage money for individual investors. Steve continues to write a regular column for and enjoys hearing investing questions from readers. You can contact Steve at 301.650.6567 or