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Online Investing Hacks by Bonnie Biafore

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Hack #72. Compare Mutual Funds Online

If you don’t have specific criteria you use to compare funds, an online fund comparison tool might meet your needs with far less work.

Several of the most popular financial web sites offer tools that help you compare mutual funds. In addition, many mutual fund companies also provide fund comparison tools to evaluate multiple selections from their fund family or to compare their funds to those of their competitors. Of the tools evaluated here, only one comes with a subscription fee, but its features might be worth the price.

Fund Comparisons for a Fee

NAIC offers mutual fund education, a library of mutual fund investment articles, and a number of mutual fund tools [Hack #67] , including mutual fund comparisons, for an annual subscription price of $60 per year ($35 a year for NAIC members). The subscription service includes a database that provides Standard & Poor’s data for over 14,000 mutual funds. Comparing mutual funds begins with a Mutual Fund Checklist for each fund you want to compare. The Mutual Fund Checklist presents most of the information you need to know about a fund:

  • Investment style

  • Minimum purchase

  • Total assets

  • Portfolio composition by asset type, company size, sector, and top ten holdings

  • Five-year sales and EPS growth, and P/E ratio

  • Manager tenure

  • Annual return for the past ten years including the relative performance to the comparable index

  • Average returns for three, five, and ten years

  • Tax-adjusted returns for three, five, and ten years ...

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