The top-selling funds of 2006 were among the best choices, writes Morningstar’s Russel Kinnel. Instead of chasing performance and buying into such highflying funds as those focused on Russia, China or real estate, investors made sounder decisions last year than usual, he says.

In point of fact, they predominantly put their money into well-diversified, low-cost funds, Kinnel says.

The No. 1 top seller is American Funds’ Growth Fund of America, of which Kinnel praises: “American has deep manager and analyst teams, and its system of having individual managers operate independently reduces the effect of asset bloat.”

Three other funds from American were also best-sellers: the Capital World Growth & Income, Capital Income Builder and EuroPacific Growth funds. Again, Kinnel notes how broadly diversified these funds are.

His “favorite” fund on the list? The Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund. “Dodge has great management, is an outstanding steward of investors’ capital and delivers low expenses,” Kinnel writes.

Though it be “boring,” the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund “is quite effective at getting investors to their goals,” he says.

The other top-selling funds Kinnel likes are the Fidelity Diversified International, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock, PIMCO Total Return, American Funds Fundamental Investors and Davis New York Venture funds.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.