The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) today launched the Fund Analyzer, an innovative, easy-to-use online tool to help mutual fund investors make smart investment choices.
The Fund Analyzer combines the capabilities of the two online tools it replaces - FINRA's Mutual Fund Expense Analyzer and Mutual Fund Breakpoint Search Tool - into a single, convenient application for investors and brokers looking to compare and evaluate investment options.
Since its launch in late 2005, FINRA's Mutual Fund Expense Analyzer has received nearly 900,000 visits and been used to analyze nearly 2.7 million funds.
"While investors cannot control the ups and downs of the financial markets, they can control the costs of their investments," said John Gannon, FINRA Senior Vice President for Investor Education. "FINRA urges every investor to carefully monitor costs because fees can take a significant bite out of an investor's portfolio. With the Fund Analyzer, investors can easily perform their own research on the costs of the mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) they are considering for their portfolios. When investors understand the toll that costs can take on the value of their investments, they can make smarter decisions that will help their bottom lines."
Using the FINRA Fund Analyzer, investors can search and compare up to three funds at once for fund analysis and information about fees and potential breakpoints (volume discounts applied to sales charges for investors who purchase front-end load mutual fund shares). They can also save information on up to 50 funds for future reference. The Fund Analyzer provides analysis from Morningstar, including Morningstar ratings and Morningstar Style Boxes that provide information about funds' performance, holdings and growth characteristics.
The Fund Analyzer, which features customizable search parameters, examines over 18,000 open-end mutual funds, ETFs and ETNs. It calculates and displays, in an easy-to-understand graph and table, the value of a fund after all expenses have been deducted for any time period selected by the user, up to 20 years. The Analyzer provides a wealth of additional information, including:
- Sales charges, annual operating expenses and detailed breakpoint sales charge discount schedules.
- Average annual return over a one-, five- and 10-year period and since the fund's inception.
- Policies regarding Rights of Accumulation, Sales Charge Waivers, Contingent Deferred Sales Charges and 12b-1 fees.
The Fund Analyzer is a valuable resource for industry professionals as well, giving brokers a single application for researching funds across various classes and time-horizon holding periods for potential breakpoints and discounts.
The Fund Analyzer is available online at finra.org/fundanalyzer.