SOURCE: BrightScope


October 15, 2013 08:00 ET

BrightScope Issues List of Top 20 Commodities Funds Held in America's 401k Plans

Gives Investment Community All-New Visibility Into the Health of 401k Plans

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 15, 2013) - BrightScope (, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, today announced the Top 20 Commodities Fund Distribution List for 401k and defined contribution industry. 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.

"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."

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.

Noteworthy findings since BrightScope's 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 commodities funds by total distribution include:

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*

BrightScope's technology uncovers audited financial data on investment funds held within real 401k plans. The BrightScope database is superior to the industry's traditional survey-based approach. When surveys are done, they usually capture no more than 10 percent of total distribution and skew heavily towards funds prominent in the survey company's client base. Through BrightScope Beacon, investment managers can access comprehensive data, giving them a transparent view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors.

For more information, please visit

About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on nearly 600,000 financial advisors and nearly 40,000 advisory firms are available for free at