Best USAA Mutual Funds


List of best USAA funds with top Morningstar ratings. Review best performing USAA mutual funds in the last 10 years.



Best USAA Mutual Funds for 2016


USAA is a respected financial services company that has been in business for nearly 100 years and offers a broad line of insurance and investment products including a large family of no-load mutual funds. It should be noted that investors must be members of USAA. Membership is limited to those who serve or have served in the military, plus certain family members of those service members.

Here are the top three funds based on 10-year performance combined with a Morningstar rating of five stars for the same 10-year period. The minimum investment for all of these funds is $3000. All funds are suitable for IRAs as well as general accounts.




Science & Technology Fund (USSCX)


USSCX is a specialty fund that invests in specific sectors or industries. The fund will normally invest at least 80% of the Fund's assets in stocks of companies that concentrate on scientific or technological products or services. The fund may also invest up to 50% of its assets in foreign securities. Because of these two factors, the fund's risk profile is very aggressive. Investors should expect a high degree of volatility, but returns may be well above average compared with the overall stock market. Investors in this fund should have a long-term investment horizon, since large losses may be incurred in the short term.

The fund's 10-year annualized return is 9.68%, compared with its benchmark index of 6.80%. This puts USSCX in the top 19% of funds in the same category based on Morningstar data. The expense ratio is 1.24%, slightly below the average expense ratio of its peers. The top three common stock holdings of USSCX are Alphabet, Inc. Class A, Apple, Inc., and Microsoft Corp.


Best USAA Mutual Funds




Related articles:     Best USAA index funds      USAA Secure Checking Plus review      USAA investing review





World Growth Fund (USAWX)


USAWX is a moderately aggressive growth fund with a global perspective. The fund invests in equities of foreign and domestic companies and may invest in companies in emerging markets. This means the fund's risk includes economic risks of the countries in which it invests, which may add to volatility. However, the fund generally invests in large capitalization stocks, which usually are less volatile than small capitalizations stocks. As an actively managed fund, there is also management risk that an investor must consider.

The fund's 10-year annualized return is 7.26% compared with its benchmark index of 4.73%. This puts USAWX in the top 6% of all funds in its category according to Morningstar data. The expense ratio is 1.17%, slightly above the average expense ratio of its peers. The top three common stock holdings of USAWX are Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, Inc., and Nestle SA.


Best USAA Funds



S&P 500 Index Fund, Member Shares (USPPX)


USPPX is a classic index fund that invests in the common stocks of the 500 largest U.S. companies and seeks to match the returns of its benchmark index, the S&P-500 Index. The risk profile is moderately aggressive only because stocks are more volatile than bonds or cash securities. The fund owns only large capitalization domestic stocks, so there is less volatility than what may be found in funds invested in small companies or international companies. The fund is passively managed, so management risk is not an issue.

The fund's 10-year annualized return is 6.56% compared with its benchmark index of 6.80%. This puts USPPX in the top 28% of all funds in its category according to Morningstar data. The fund has a 5-star Morningstar rating. The expense ratio is 0.29%, but there is currently a 0.03% reimbursement from the fund advisor, which puts the net expense ratio at 0.26%. This is about half the average expense ratio of the fund's peers. The top three common stock holdings of USPPX are Apple, Inc., Microsoft Corp, and Exxon Mobil Corporation.


Best USAA Funds




Conclusion


USAA's top performing funds over the past ten years show above average returns for their fund categories. Two of the funds, USSCX and USAWX, are actively managed and rank in the top ten percent in their respective categories. Low expense ratios for passively managed index funds combined with excellent management and stock selection in actively managed funds means USAA is a good choice to consider when looking for a family of funds that offer competitive returns. The one possible drawback for some investors is the membership requirements to join USAA.


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No-Load No-Transaction Fee Mutual Funds Brokers


As you see from the table below not all discount online brokerage firms offer No-Transaction Fee mutual funds. The companies that do offer these tend to be large, well known, and tend to provide a huge number of these funds. The five largest brokerage houses in the U.S. all offer NTF funds: TD Ameritrade (Thinkorswim is part of TD Ameritrade), Charles Schwab, Etrade, Fidelity Investments, and Scottrade. There are, however, a few exceptions where small, little known brokers also offer NTF funds: Cobra Trading, eOption, Firstrade, Just2Trade and TradeMonster.

Surprisingly, the sixth largest brokerage house, TradeKing, does not provide NTF mutual funds.

It's very important to understand that No-Transaction Fee, No-Load mutual fund doesn't mean that the fund costs nothing. Every mutual fund has an expense ratio which is the total of the few following components.

The Investment Advisory Fee or Management Fee is the money necessary to pay the manager(s) of the mutual fund. On average, this fee is about 0.50% to 1.0% annually of the fund's assets.

Administrative Costs are the costs of record keeping, mailings, maintaining a customer service line, etc. These are all necessary costs, though they vary in size from fund to fund. This fee is between 0.05% and 0.40% of fund's assets.

These fees are much more important than transaction costs. As an example, a mutual fund with Management Fee of 1.00% and Administrative Costs of 0.40% will cost you $90 EVERY YEAR on a $5,000 investment!

Studies have shown that more expensive mutual funds do not perform better than the cheaper ones. Therefore it makes sense to invest in the lowest expense ratio NTF, no-load mutual fund that performed well over the years.


Number of mutual funds Charles Schwab, Scottrade, Etrade, Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade Have


Brokerage # of Mutual Funds # of No-Load Funds # of NTF Funds Fee on Non-NTF Funds New Account Promotion
TD Ameritrade12,8415,4412,458$49.99 Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Capital One Investing10591059465$19.95None
Charles Schwab16,19911,0896,682$76 to buy, $0 to sellNone
Choicetrade10,0002,000NA$25None
Cobra Trading8,8171,236436$25None
eOption8,87611,289451$14.95None
Etrade7,7334,4576,244$19.99None
Fidelity11,3904,6771,655$76None
Firstrade12,0974,784624$9.95Get triple 100 bonus.
Interactive Brokers1,800NANA14.95None
Just2trade10,7003,3002,900$12None
KapitallNANANANANone
Lighspeed TradingNANANANANone
Merrill Lynch/Edge12,0085,1554,709$19.95None
Motif InvestingNANANANA Get up to $150 when you start trading at Motif Investing.
OptionsHouse11,9054,282NA$20Trade Free For 60 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account.
OptionsXpress10,4006,000NA$9.99None
Placetrade6,7521,900NA$19.95None
Scottrade15,0127,5983,114$17Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
SogotradeNANANANANone
Thinkorswim12,8415,4412,458$49.99 Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
TradeKing11,9684,287NA$9.99 Get $100 in free commissions. No hidden fees. No minimums.
TradeStation4,413898NA$14.95 Get up to $500 - trade commission free for 90 days.
TradingBlock11,9324,282NA$20None


Updated on 8/26/2016.


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