10 Best Funds for Long-Term Investors

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- TheStreet.com Ratings reviews the risk-adjusted return performance of around 25,000 funds every month. Most long-term investors saving for retirement would like to have the confidence that at least a portion of their portfolio should keep up with the market.

The returns of actively managed mutual funds vary widely in both the positive and negative directions. So, it is not surprising that our list of the best passively managed S&P 500 Index funds all rank in the 'Hold' range for risk-adjusted return.

Here are the 10 best S&P 500 Index funds for long-term investors:

-----------------------------

10. Nuveen Equity Index I

Nuveen Equity Index I ( FEIIX) seeks to provide investment results that correspond to the performance of the S&P 500 Index. It invests at least 90% of its net assets in common stocks included in the S&P 500 Index. The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged market value weighted index consisting of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, sector performance and other factors. The advisor of the fund believes that the fund objective can best be achieved by investing in common stocks of approximately 90% to 100% of the issues included in the S&P 500 Index.

Expense Ratio: 0.36%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

9. CA S&P 500 Index Direct

CA S&P 500 Index Direct ( SPFIX) seeks to replicate the total return of the U.S. stock market as measured by the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index. The fund includes the common stocks of 500 leading U.S. companies from a broad range of industries. The fund invests in the stocks that make up the index so that the weighting of each stock in the portfolio approximates the index. The fund invests at least 80 percent of its total assets in the underlying stocks of the index. The fund may invest in futures contracts and lend securities.

Expense Ratio: 0.36%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

8. GE Institutional S&P 500 Index Svc

GE Institutional S&P 500 Index Svc ( GIDSX) seeks growth of capital and accumulation of income that corresponds to the investment return of the S&P 500 composite stock index. The fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in equity securities of companies contained in the S&P 500 Index. The manager seeks to replicate the return of the S&P 500 Index while holding transaction costs low and minimizing portfolio turnover. The portfolio manager may use statistical selection to determine which securities within the S&P 500 Index to purchase or sell for the fund. The fund may invest to a lesser extent in debt securities, foreign securities and other securities that are not in the S&P 500 Index.

Expense Ratio: 0.36%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

7. DWS Equity 500 Index S

DWS Equity 500 Index S ( BTIEX) seeks to match, as closely as possible, before expenses, the performance of the S&P 500 Index. The fund invests in a statistically selected sample of the securities found in the S&P 500 Index. The fund management team analyzes smaller stocks and selects them for the fund portfolio based on liquidity. In selecting smaller stocks, the team seeks to match the industry and risk characteristics of smaller companies in the S&P 500 Index. While the portfolio seeks to closely track the characteristics and performance of the S&P 500 Index, important differences between the two exist.

Expense Ratio: 0.31%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

6. Wells Fargo Adv Index Adm

Wells Fargo Adv Index Adm ( WFIOX) has an investment objective to seek price and yield performance results similar to the S&P 500 Index. The fund may invest substantially all of its assets in equity securities that represent a composite of the S&P 500 Index. To replicate the performance of the S & P 500 the portfolio managers of the fund use a passive management approach. The fund intends to sell any security that is removed from the S & P 500.

Expense Ratio: 0.25%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

5. Vanguard 500 Index Inv

Vanguard 500 Index Inv ( VFINX) seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization stocks. The fund may invest in foreign securities to the extent necessary to carry out its investment strategy of holding all or substantially all of the stocks that make up the index it tracks. The fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Standard & Poors 500 Index, a widely recognized benchmark of U.S. stock market performance that is dominated by the stocks of large U.S. companies.

Expense Ratio: 0.17%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

----------------------------

4. USAA S&P 500 Index Reward Fund

USAA S&P 500 Index Reward Fund ( USPRX) seeks to match before fees and expenses the performance of the S&P 500 Index which emphasizes stocks of large U.S. Companies. The fund attempts to achieve the objective by investing at least 80% of the asset of the stocks of companies composing the S&P 500 Index. The fund assets may be invested in practically all the stocks included in the S&P 500 Index. However, the fund may hold up to 20% of its assets in short-term debt securities, money market instruments, stock index futures, and options. The fund uses the sampling method of indexing.

Expense Ratio: 0.15%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C+" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

3. iShares S&P 500 Index Fund

iShares S&P 500 Index Fund ( IVV) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of S&P 500 index. The index measures the performance of the large-capitalization sector of the U.S equity market. The fund uses a replication strategy to try to track the Index, which includes approximately 78% of the market capitalization of all publicly traded U.S equity securities. The stocks in the index are selected according to the total market value of their outstanding shares.

Expense Ratio: 0.09%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

2. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust ( SPY) is comprised of the 500 stocks in the S&P 500 Index, which is designed to capture the price performance of a large cross-section of the U.S publicly traded stock market. The main objective of the fund is to replicate the total return of the S&P 500 Index. The SPDR Trust, Series 1 seeks to match the total return of the S&P 500 Index. To accomplish this, the trust utilized a full replication approach. With this strategy, all 500 securities of the S&P 500 Index are owned by the Trust in their approximate market capitalization weight.

Expense Ratio: 0.09%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

1. Vanguard 500 Index ETF

Vanguard 500 Index ETF ( VOO) seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization stocks. The fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Expense Ratio: 0.06%

Load: 0.00%

Rated "C-" by TheStreet Ratings:

-----------------------------

How We Rate Funds

TheStreet Ratings condenses the available fund performance and risk data, including penalties for load charges, into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows the unbiased identification of those funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market. While there is no guarantee of future performance, these investment ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions. In order to qualify for a rating, an open-end fund must either have three years of risk and return data or be an additional share class of an existing fund with at least three years of performance statistics.

Funds rated "A" or "B" are considered "Buy" based on a track record of higher than average risk-adjusted performance. Funds at the "C" level are rated as "Hold," while underperformers at the "D" and "E" levels our model ranks as "Sell."

-- -- Written by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

MORE FROM THESTREET RATINGS:


Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

More from Investing

Neel Kashkari: The Heart of Our Financial System Is More Radioactive Than Ever

Neel Kashkari: The Heart of Our Financial System Is More Radioactive Than Ever

McDonald's Criticized for Not Doing More in Wake of Sexual Harassment Claims

McDonald's Criticized for Not Doing More in Wake of Sexual Harassment Claims

Finding Stocks Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 8/25/18)

Finding Stocks Right for You: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 8/25/18)

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Jim Cramer: The 10-Year Yield Could Go to 2.75%

Bitcoin Today: Prices Continue to Slump Heading Into Weekend

Bitcoin Today: Prices Continue to Slump Heading Into Weekend