Top Commodities Funds in America’s 401k Plans – 2013

We are pleased to share our 2013 list of the Top 20 Commodities Fund Distribution List for 401k and defined contribution industry.

“Commodities continue to emerge and evolve in the 401k marketplace,” said Brooks Herman, Head of Data & Research at BrightScope. “Historically, their returns are less correlated with traditional asset classes like equities and bonds, and plan participants are beginning to seek them out in their portfolios.”

Noteworthy findings since the last release of this list, May 2011:

  • PIMCO leads the pack this year by grabbing the first spot for PIMCO Commodity Real Return Strategy (up from #3) and #2 for PIMCO CommoditiesPLUS Trust II (#2 entry new this year)
  • Newcomers dominate the list making up six of the top ten and fourteen spots overall — Those with an asterisk(*) below are new to the list
  • Two of Fidelity’s commodities took a nosedive: Fidelity Select Natural Resources dropped from #2 to #17 and Fidelity Select Materials went from #6 to #15

The Top 20 ETFs by total distribution:

1 PIMCO Commodity Real Return Strategy
2 PIMCO CommoditiesPLUS Trust II*
3 Prudential Jennison Natural Resources
4 T. Rowe Price New Era
5 Ivy Global Natural Resources
6 SSGA Real Return Ex-Natural Resources Equity*
7 Oppenheimer Commodity Strategy Total Return*
8 Fidelity Global Commodity Stock*
9 Highbridge Dynamic Commodities Strategy*
10 Investec Global Natural Resources*
11 Credit Suisse Commodity Return Strategy*
12 John Hancock Funds II Natural Resources
13 Van Eck Global Hard Assets*
14 RS Global Natural Resources
15 Fidelity Select Materials
16 SSgA Dow Jones US Commodity Fund
17 Fidelity Select Natural Resources
18 SPDR Gold Shares
19 SSgA Global Natural Resources Index*
20 Fidelity Select Chemicals*

This list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope will regularly publish to provide investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with more insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace. The proliferation of this critical information will dramatically increase the efficiency of the field and lead to lower cost plans and better outcomes for the 60 million Americans who depend on their 401k plan for retirement.

Since its infancy, the 401k marketplace has suffered from a lack of quality data that is comprehensive enough to be useful for most strategic functions. Historically, it has been virtually impossible to determine a specific mutual fund’s total distribution in 401k plans. BrightScope’s revolutionary database includes a detailed investment menu on nearly 50,000 plans, representing nearly 90 percent of all the assets in 401ks. With this dataset, BrightScope is able to provide detailed analysis of total fund distributions.