The 10 largest equity mutual funds of 1999 have seen their assets fall $138 billion as poor performance and scandals have sent investors fleeing, according to USA Today.
Fidelity Magellan, once the largest mutual fund with $106 billion in assets, now has only $63 billion. The Vanguard 500 Index fund, currently the largest equity fund, has watched its assets shrink from $105 billion to $84 billion.
One of the catalysts behind their waning popularity has been performance. Magellan has lost 18% in the past five years, according to fund tracking firm Lipper. Meanwhile, the Vanguard 500 Index fund has fallen 11%. On average, the 10 funds whose assets have shrunk the most have lost 30% since Dec. 31, 1999.
Other former heavyweights have fallen completely out of favor. The Janus Twenty fund fell from $37 billion in 1999 to $10 billion, going from being the 9th largest stock fund to 63rd. MFS Emerging Growth now ranks 506th after losing 80% of its assets. Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunity fell from 21st place to 210th place. Assets dropped to $4 billion from $24 billion.
These funds were heavily invested in large companies with high earnings growth, according to the report. When the market collapsed, many of those companies lost got hit much harder than the broader market.
Additionally, the trading scandal unearthed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has also had a hand in the depreciation of those funds. For example, Putnam New Opportunity B has plummeted 90% to $1.2 billion from $11.9 billion in 1999. Fund shareholders have seen their investment tank nearly 50% those five years.