It's easy for clients to view investing as an absolute game. But unless they’re a hedge fund, investing is relative. Any mutual fund performance is most meaningful when compared against the broader market or some other yardstick. If an industry benchmark returned 15%, then a mutual fund in that same category can't very well brag about its 12% return.
On the other hand, a return of 3% can have value for clients who want to be diversified, if the benchmark posted a loss.
Scroll through to see the 20 best mutual funds for the past three years, on an annualized basis, compared against their respective benchmarks.
All data from Morningstar as of June 23.