Skip to Main Content

Mutual Fund Portfolio Managers


The first mutual fund was started in Europe in 1774 when a Dutch merchant and broker named Adriaan van Ketwich launched a fund named Eendragt Maakt Magt (which translates to Unity Creates Strength).

A form of mutual funds was first introduced in the United States in the late 19th century, but they did not become popular until the 1920s. The Massachusetts Investors Trust— the first mutual, or “open-ended” fund in the U.S.—was introduced in Boston in 1924.

During the stock-market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, the public lost confidence in mutual funds and other types of investment funds, but the investment industry received a boost from laws such as the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

In 1990, mutual fund assets topped $1 trillion, and by 2000, mutual and related fund assets under management exceeded $5.7 trillion. There were 6,778 mutual funds. The number of mutual funds continued to grow throughout the 2000s (dipping only slightly during economic downtimes and financial industry scandals in 2002–04 and 2009–10). In 2018, total U.S. mutual fund and exchange-traded fund assets were more than $21 trillion. There were 9,599 mutual funds. Nearly 45 percent of U.S. households owned mutual funds.