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2017 12 31 Morningstar Mutual Fund Ratings Explained A17ar10k021

2017 12 31 morningstar mutual fund ratings explained a17ar10k021 rating system redux methodology

Category : Mutual Fund.
Topic : Morningstar mutual fund ratings explained. Author : Etty Herrera.
Posted : Wed, Feb 20th 2019 17:07 PM.
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Alpha - measures the performance of a fund on a risk-adjusted basis. Alpha calculates a risk factor relative to a fund, and then compares that risk-adjusted performance to a benchmark (such as the S&P 500). A number is then assigned that reflects how that fund performs, relative to the amount of risk the investment is exposed to. For example, a positive alpha of 1.0 means the fund has outperformed its benchmark index by 1%, or a negative alpha of -1.0 would indicate an underperformance compared to the benchmark of 1%.

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Introduction Of Mutual Fund
Introduction of mutual fund

How Much Are Mutual Funds
How much are mutual funds

Mutual funds are managed by a portfolio manager, or in some cases, by a team of portfolio managers. The success of a fund by an individual fund manager may be largely dictated by his performance. That is important to know, because a fund with a good track record historically, may perform differently in the future if the fund manager changes. It is always prudent to review the tenure of the fund manager in concert with past performance.

The value of the fund is based on the value of the assets it holds. As the stocks or bonds within the fund increase in value, the fund increases in value. Conversely, as the stocks or bonds within the fund decrease in value, the fund also decreases in value. Mutual funds only trade at the end of the day based on their net asset value (NAV). To determine the NAV at the end of the trading day, the mutual fund company looks at all of the assets that are in the basket, determines their value and divides that number by the total number of outstanding shares in the fund.

Some specialty funds are going to be higher, but for the most part you should try to buy funds that are under 1%. Funds are required by law to produce a document called a prospectus, which no one ever reads, that tells you important information about the fund. Fortunately, Morningstar reports most of this same information in a much easier to understand way. The best mutual funds will keep these internal costs to a minimum.

Many investors today utilize mutual funds as part of their overall investment plan. Whether you must make your own mutual fund selections for your 401(K) or employer sponsored retirement plan, or use a professional investment advisor for other types of investment accounts, mutual funds can be an effective way to own baskets of stocks or bonds, with a small amount of investment dollars.

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When investing in mutual funds (or any investments), it is important to be diversified (see my blog titled The Truth About Diversification). Sometimes, owning a few different mutual funds may give the appearance of being well diversified, but on closer inspection, if the funds you own, each have major holdings in the same stocks, you may not be diversified at all.

Mutual funds are divided into two categories: closed-end funds and open-end funds. Closed-end funds have a fixed number of shares issued to the public. If you want to purchase a piece of the fund, you have to purchase an existing share from a shareholder that is selling.

How do mutual funds make money? Mutual funds make money in several ways. The main way is from internal fees that are called expense ratios. Expense ratio sounds a lot better than FEES, right? But it is the same thing. It is a percentage of the funds assets that are taken out every day, and it is how the mutual fund company stays in business. You never see these fees come out, but they definitely affect your annual returns. You want to try to make sure your expense ratios are around 1% or less per year.

One test is to check the funds ten largest holdings. In the more concentrated funds, the ten largest holdings may comprise a significant percentage of the portfolio; in the less concentrated funds, they may hold a much lower percentage. Always know what specific investments your fund or funds own to remain diversified.

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Some specialty funds are going to be higher, but for the most part you should try to buy funds that are under 1%. Funds are required by law to produce a document called a prospectus, which no one ever reads, that tells you important information about the fund. Fortunately, Morningstar reports most of this same information in a much easier to understand way. The best mutual funds will keep these internal costs to a minimum.

A common mistake for novice investors is to select a mutual based solely on its past performance record. Past performance may not be a food indicator of future performance, given possible changes in the global or domestic economy, the markets, or specific sectors the fund invests in. While past performance is a useful tool and one item to consider, it should not be the sole criteria. In many cases last years winners are next years underperformers.

Open-end funds have an unlimited number of shares. If you want to purchase a piece of the fund, the fund creates a new share and sells it to you. There are significantly more open-end funds than there are closed-end funds. Closed end funds can trade at values that are above or below their NAV, while open end funds only trade at their end of day NAV.