Whether you use an advisor or you do it yourself, you might enjoy a few sites to help you research mutual funds. The first couple of places to research a mutual fund are the mutual fund company's Web site and the mutual fund's prospectus.
If you feel compelled to research your mutual funds further, you might want to try one or all of the sites below.
Morningstar may be the most well-known mutual fund research firm by individual investors. There are useful research reports, portfolio trackers and articles available on the site -- some free of charge and others for a subscription fee. Morningstar also offers research on stocks, 529 plans and hedge funds. The premium subscription includes fund analysis and recommendations and the free subscription includes access to many articles, fund screeners and portfolio performance tracking.
Lipper is useful to both professional mutual fund advisors and individual investors. Lipper rates mutual funds compared to their peers and provides an instant measure against five metrics -- total return, consistent return, preservation, expense, and tax efficiency.
Kiplinger offers a tool that, with a simple entering of the fund’s symbol, you have access to a host of performance, style and fee information. You can also start with selecting criteria -- US, international, total return, expenses, etc. -- and then let Kiplinger find a list of mutual funds that fits the bill.
Cake offers several tools -- one for free, one with a one-time fee and another for an annual fee -- that will help you research mutual funds and track your funds. The site has data available on over 18,000 funds in over 60 categories and allows you to aggregate your investment accounts to track your overall asset allocation.
FundAlarm is a website described as a “free, non-commercial Website.” Don’t go to the site if you are looking to buy a fund. The site is geared toward helping you decide when it’s time to sell a mutual fund. If you have an existing portfolio, FundAlarm’s database of 3-Alarm Funds is a reasonable place to read the skeptics view.
Maxfunds has been described as a “free Web site with a cheeky attitude and a passion for no-load funds.” The site provides data on hundreds of funds in a number of categories. Funds are ranked according to key criteria such as expense ratio, market cap and diversification.