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  2. Top 12 Investment Newsletters Focusing on Mutual Funds

Mutual funds may seem a bit old fashioned in a low-cost world with exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), but with over $15 trillion in assets under management, they aren’t going away anytime soon. The best performing mutual funds have returns in excess of 40% per year, which more than makes up for the higher fees involved. The key is identifying the best performing funds in order to capitalize on their long-term growth potential.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 12 investment newsletters focused on the mutual fund industry. Individual investors may find these newsletters useful for evaluating potential funds for their capital and developing their outlook for the financial markets.

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Vanguard Adviser

Vanguard mutual funds have developed a solid reputation over the past several years as low-cost providers of index funds. In fact, Vanguard funds are estimated to be taking in more than 50% of all capital inflows into index mutual funds. Investors looking for passive mutual fund opportunities may want to take a look at the fund family as a result.

Since 1991, the Vanguard Adviser has provided independent advice on the Vanguard family of mutual funds to individual and institutional investors. Editor Dan Wiener is a former reporter on the mutual fund industry and a long-time advocate of Vanguard funds, who has developed a following thanks to his detailed and insightful commentary.

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The Chartist

Technical analysis has long been used to predict the movements of stocks, but The Chartist was founded on the premise that it could be just as useful for mutual funds. Since 1988, the company’s model portfolio has increased in value from $100,000 to over $1 million by 2010, growing at an annual rate of more than 11% – handily beating the market.

By subscribing to its newsletter for $240 per year, investors have weekly updates on its model portfolio and relative strength rankings for the top mutual funds in the industry. The Chartist’s specialty is identifying both buying and selling points based on technical analysis, rather than just suggesting long plays and letting investors decide when to sell and move on.

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Stock Market Cycles

Peter George Eliades graduated from Harvard, passed the bar exam, and then began his career as a stockbroker in 1972. Over time, he became well-regarded as a highly successful market timer, with successful predictions for the Dow’s recovery in 1983 and several other specific market turning points that made his followers a lot of money.

In 1985, Mr. Eliades started the Stock Market Cycles newsletter to provide investors with access to his insights. The model portfolios contained within the newsletter have posted impressive performance gains, compared to benchmark indexes and competing newsletters, leading to the widespread popularity of the newsletter among the public.

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Smead Blog

Smead Capital Management is a registered investment advisor that’s focused on large-cap U.S. value investing opportunities. Using its eight investment criteria, the company’s mutual funds provide investors with exposure to high-quality businesses trading at a discount to fair value, as determined by its team of experienced managers and analysts.

The Smead Blog cuts through the cacophony of other media resources to focus on what is important to long-term common stock ownership. Through its quarterly newsletter, the company provides useful insights to both owners of its family of funds and others that are just looking for an edge when investing in the markets.

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Selections & Timing

Stephen L. McKee founded Watercourse Way Holdings back in 1984 to provide individual and professional investors with access to his market outlook and actionable insights. Since then, Mr. McKee has been featured on a number of prominent financial media outlets highlighting his expertise, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Barron’s.

In his Selections & Timings newsletter, Mr. McKee has developed a solid track record in buying and selling mutual funds by capturing gains in bull markets and avoiding losses in bear markets. The Hulbert Financial Digest rates the newsletter #1 for risk-adjusted performance over the last 20 years through December 31, 2013.

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No-Load Fund Investor

The No-Load Fund Investor newsletter has ranked among the top seven financial advisory newsletters for risk-adjusted performance for the 20-year period ending January 31, 2011 by Hulbert Financial Digest. With model portfolios and data covering nearly 1,000 no-load mutual funds and ETFs, the newsletter has become a great resource for many investors.

The newsletter’s model portfolios are organized by different goals, lifestyles, and the preferred source of transactions in order to find the best solutions to meet individual needs. While the newsletter is priced at about $199 per year, those purchasing the newsletter online can acquire an annual subscription for just $129 with additional offers.

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Money Letter

Walter S. Frank has been the Chief Investment Officer of Money Letter for the past 28 years. As a former consultant to the House of Representatives Banking & Currency Committee and Contributing Editor of The Economist, Mr. Frank has become a popular voice in the financial community that’s oft quoted in The Wall Street Journal and other publications.

The Money Letter has helped thousands of individuals optimize their mutual fund portfolios over the past 34 years, while its sister letter Money Letter Plus has been doing the same over the past 17 years. At a price of just $129 per year, the newsletters provide investors with actionable insights and market commentary to help improve their returns over time.

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A. Gary Shilling has an extensive track record in the financial industry, having served as a staff member at the Federal Reserve banks and setup the economic departments at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. Dr. Shilling was twice named top Wall Street economist by Institutional Investor and named #1 commodities market advisor by Futures Magazine.

Dr. Shilling’s INSIGHT newsletter delivers exactly that to its subscribers – insights into the economy and how they affect investments. While these trends aren’t exclusive to the mutual fund industry, investors should pay close attention to these economic dynamics to protect their portfolios from loss and capitalize on any opportunities.

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FundX Investment Group pioneered the use of no-load mutual funds in managing portfolios for its clients since 1969. As a manager of private portfolios, the company has extensive experience picking mutual funds through a process that it calls “upgrading,” which involves identifying and buying the best performing mutual funds over time.

In its FundX newsletter, the company draws upon its vast experience to help individual investors identify the best no-load mutual funds in the market. Subscribers have access to an extensive and growing database of funds and ETFs that can be ranked based on a number of criteria for less than $100 per year and a 30-day free trial.

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Fund Newsletter

The Mutual Fund Research Newsletter provides mutual fund research, recommendations, and advice for those looking for new opportunities. Since its inception in 1999, Tom Madell has grown the newsletter to become one of the most popular online resources for investors with a compelling track record that goes back more than a decade.

Mutual fund investors may want to check out the free newsletter for a combination of market insights and actionable information in the form of its model fund portfolios. Throughout most of the newsletter’s history, these model portfolios have significantly outperformed the S&P 500 index, which provides more than enough validation to check them out.

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Forbes/ISA Report

Richard Lehmann has been actively involved in fixed income and related asset classes since the 1970s. After founding the Bond Investors Association in 1983, he expanded the organization to become the Income Securities Advisor today. He is also President of Lehmann Livian Fridson Advisors – an investment advisory firm.

Through the Forbes/ISA Report, Mr. Lehmann provides advice on strategies, model portfolios, and new product updates targeting the closed-end mutual fund and ETF industries. He also managed the Distressed Municipal Securities newsletter on behalf of Forbes and has acquired a wide audience of subscribers given his diverse knowledge.

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Fidelity Advisor

Fidelity is a leading mutual fund provider and home of the largest single-manager fund in the United States with over $93 billion in assets under management. While Vanguard is focused on passive index funds, Fidelity excels at actively managed mutual funds that aim to beat the market averages by employing a number of different strategies.

The Fidelity Advisor provides actionable insights covering Fidelity mutual funds and other investments with subscriptions priced at $199.95 per year. In addition to the annual option, the company provides a monthly subscription for just $19.95 per month, which lets subscribers test drive the service before committing to a full year.

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