News & Ideas

What is Fidelity Mutual Funds?


An introduction to one of the world’s biggest mutual fund companies

By:  Robert F. Abbott, freelance writer and author

fidelity fundsFidelity mutual funds come from a company called Fidelity Investments, more formally known as FMR LLC. Founded in 1946 by Edward C. (Ned) Johnson, the company is now one of the U.S.A.’s biggest. According to its website it has “. . . assets under administration of $5.2 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of April 30, 2015”.

It also says it has a diverse set of customers; in its words, it is helping:

  • “more than 24 million people invest their own life savings,
  • “nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs,
  • “nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money.”

From a wider perspective it says, “Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want.”

The company also argues it has an edge because of its research capabilities–400 research professionals around the world. That should give the company insights into international funds.

Among its achievements is hiring Peter Lynch to be the portfolio manager of the Magellan Fund in 1977. Lynch went on to become one of the all-time great mutual fund managers, racking up years of outstanding gains.

Fidelity funds have both their supporters and detractors, but in the end I can’t help but accept that a company with 24-million clients and more $2-trillion in managed assets (such as mutual funds), must be doing quite a few things right.

This article is one of three about major mutual fund companies in the United States; others are:

BlackRock and Vanguard

Robert Abbott

Robert F. Abbott has been investing his family’s accounts since 1995, and in 2010 added options, mainly covered calls and collars with long stocks. In his other writing, Abbott explores how the middle class has come to own much of big business through pension funds and mutual funds, what management guru Peter Drucker called the Unseen Revolution. In Big Macs & Our Pensions: Who Gets McDonald's Profits?, the first of a series of booklets on this subject, he looks at the ownership of McDonald’s and what that means for middle class retirement income. In an eclectic career, Robert Abbott was a radio news writer and announcer, a newsletter writer and publisher, a farmer, a telephone operator, and a construction worker. When not working, he has been a busy volunteer, which includes more than a decade of leadership roles at the Airdrie Festival of Lights, one of North America’s leading holiday light displays. He lives in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada.