Mutual fund research can be made easier with a good online research tool that helps investors analyze and compare funds. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, or if you are looking to get the most benefits from a mutual fund, review an existing fund, or compare and screen different funds, these mutual fund research sites are among the best.
Best Mutual Fund Research Websites to Analyze and Compare Funds
The best mutual fund research websites will share similar qualities, features and benefits. These research sites should provide detailed information about mutual funds, including performance history, expenses, investment objective, risk attributes, manager bio, and more. Each mutual fund research site has its distinguishing services and tools. Therefore it's wise to sample each one to see which site fits your needs.
Here are the best mutual fund research sites:
- Morningstar: They may be best known for their "star rating" system, which is on a scale of one to five stars, that helps investors choose mutual funds. Morningstar also offers tools, such as software for professionals, and research information available to all levels of mutual fund investors online. Morningstar also extends their information and commentary to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Hedge Funds. Morningstar has both free and premium services for investors.
- Refinitiv Lipper: Refinitiv Lipper is a global leader in supplying mutual fund information, analytical tools, and commentary. This online fund research tool by Refinitiv 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, called "Leaders" -- total return, consistent return, preservation, expense, and tax efficiency.
- Kiplinger Mutual Fund Finder: With this search and comparison tool from long-trusted financial resource, Kiplinger, investors can research a specific fund, find funds that match a specific search criteria, compare multiple funds and download and save fund data for personal analysis.
- MAXfunds: With the "Fund-O-Matic Fund Screener" investors can find the best funds, as MAXfunds says, "without an advanced finance degree." The self-described "mutual fund research for regular people" can be a a quick and easy way for the do-it-yourselfer to find high quality, low cost mutual funds.
- FundReveal: If you prefer actively managed funds vs index funds, and you want a good premium research tool that takes an unconventional approach to evaluating fund performance, you should consider FundReveal. FundReveal is not based on past total returns or opinions. It uses past returns but just not total returns; they use "average daily returns" to help determine the fund management's capability or skill. That may help an investor dig deeper to help predict future returns that can be impacted by the daily decisions made by fund managers.
Most of these mutual fund research sites also include data and analysis on ETFs. Once you begin your mutual fund research, you'll need to know what things to analyze and what things to ignore. So be sure to see our article on mutual fund analysis and you'll be ready to invest like a pro!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does a financial advisor research when looking at a mutual fund?
A financial advisor will use research sites like the ones listed here to assess the fund's performance and whether its style fits their client's needs. "Performance," in this sense, does not necessarily mean comparing funds to choose the one with the highest returns, because not every client is looking for the highest risk/reward investments. Instead, an advisor will assess how well the fund matches its investment goals, such as seeking out high-risk/high-reward investments, passively investing in the S&P 500, or preserving capital with fixed-income investments. When a mutual fund can consistently meet its goals, and those goals align with a client's goals, an advisor may consider investing a portion of the client's portfolio into that mutual fund.
What type of mutual fund managers will do extensive analysis to try to identify mispriced stocks?
Some mutual fund managers make more decisions than others. That's known as "active" fund management. An actively managed mutual fund offers the potential to do better than the overall market, though there's no guarantee. Since those fund managers do extensive work to find opportunities, you can also expect to pay higher expense fees for those funds.