U.S. households are approaching the halfway mark when it comes to owning mutual funds—44 percent now do, according to the latest numbers from the Investment Company Institute. And the bulk of them have their employers to thank: The ICI's "2013 Investment Company Fact Book" study found that 72 percent of households owning mutual funds have dollars invested with a company's sponsored retirement plan.
Mutual funds have become the mainstay of retirement, and the growing number of funds to choose from has steadily picked up steam. In 1940 there were 68 mutual funds; today, just under 7,600. Although not all are available through employer-sponsored plans, the fact remains that there are a litany of options available to many employees, so figuring out the ones that steadily offer the best returns takes some homework.
That said, you might want to take a close look at what Joe Huber, CEO and chief investment officer of Huber Capital Management and member of the Young Presidents' Organization, has been doing in the space. Huber has been managing two No. 1–ranked mutual funds for more than five years—one in small-cap value (Huber Capital Small Cap Value Fund) and one large (Huber Capital Equity Income Fund).
(Read more: 2014 top trends in mutual fund investing)
In late March the firm received three Lipper industry awards, which recognize the strongest-performing funds, for the third consecutive year.