Was the Nasdaq crash of the past few years just a bad dream? Technology aficionados eyeing Pensions & Investments' latest quarterly survey of the top-performing mutual funds most used in defined contribution plans could be forgiven for thinking as much.
For the 12-month period through Sept. 30, the names of the top-performing funds and their eye-popping gains may stir memories of days before the technology bubble burst in March 2000. The T. Rowe Price Science & Technology Fund led the way among equity funds with a 58.7% return, followed by the INVESCO Technology Fund at 46.5% and the Fidelity Aggressive Growth Fund at 45.4%. Other growth funds in the top 10 include the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund and the American Funds New Economy A, boasting 12-month gains of 42.5% and 35.1% respectively.
Many of those funds had been performance leaders three months before, but with returns of only 5% to 8% for the year ended June 30. But with the S&P 500 index rising 24.4% for the year ended Sept. 30, gains have returned to levels last seen during the bull market of the late 1990s.