In this article, we'll be discussing Van Kampen mutual funds. This review will include a brief background of the company, and the services Van Kampen provides to its clients. Next, we'll talk about fee structures and investment returns. Finally, we'll review some of the top performing funds found at Van Kampen.
In October 2009, Invesco announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Van Kampen from Morgan Stanley. The transaction was valued at $1.5 billion in cash and stock. At the time of purchase, Van Kampen had $119 billion in assets under management.
The information below was the last mutual fund review of that company.
Van Kampen consisted of a large and diversified network of unaffiliated broker-dealers, banks and thrifts, insurance companies, and financial planners. This network included over 250,000 financial advisors, with a smaller number of retail distributors accounting for a large proportion of the Van Kampen sales network.
Van Kampen offered a full array of financial planning products including 401(k) plan administration, Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, and 529 plans. As part of Morgan Stanley, Van Kampen teamed up with one of the largest asset management firms in the world, with $740 billion under management in 2008. Van Kampen managed approximately $138 billion of that value. The company offered investors a full array of investment strategies such as growth, fixed income, global investment, and passive management.
Morningstar ratings indicated the expense ratio for mutual funds at Van Kampen ranged from Average for their domestic stock funds (1.40%), international stock (1.70%), and municipal bond (1.13%) funds to Above Average for their taxable bond funds (1.42%). Van Kampen assets were held in a typical balance of domestic stocks (49.8%), municipal bonds (12.0%), taxable bonds (7.5%) and international stocks (6.1%). (August 2008)
The minimum investment at Van Kampen was $1,000. In addition, nearly all of their funds carried a load, with only 8.1% of their assets in no-load mutual funds. As of August 2008, the average return for the Van Kampen family of mutual funds was 6.50% over the last five years.
As was the case with Pioneer, at least one of the three top rated funds at Van Kampen was a bond fund. Unfortunately, all three of these funds carry a front load, and the top rated fund were closed to new investors. With that in mind, here is a list of the top three rated funds at Van Kampen back in 2008:
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