Mutual Funds

The Basics

When were the first mutual funds started in the United States?

Some experts believe that the first mutual funds in the United States began in 1893 with the advent of the Boston Personal Property Trust. The Alexander Fund in Philadelphia, founded in 1907, was one of the first funds that allowed its investors to make withdrawals or redeem shares on demand. The first mutual fund appeared in Boston in 1924 under the name Massachusetts Investors Trust, and would be characterized as an open-ended fund, allowing for issuing, buying, and selling shares on the open market. The fund started with $50,000 and finished its first year with $392,000. The fund went public in 1928, and the name was changed to MFS Investment Management. It thrives today as one of the oldest continuously operating mutual funds in the United States, employing more than 1,700 people worldwide, and, as of 2012, managing more than $338 billion and operating 75 funds.


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