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Computerized Investing > Third Quarter 2013

Analyzing Mutual Funds: Creating Fund Screens

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by Joe Lan, CFA

Mutual funds have been used by investors for a number of years. By definition, mutual funds are simply an investment vehicle that pools together investor’s money and buys securities. These types of investment vehicles are used in a variety of ways by investors, with some using only mutual funds in their entire investment portfolio and others tapping funds to simply add some diversification to certain sectors of their portfolio. No matter how you want to use mutual funds, it is important, as with all securities, to have a plan for choosing between funds.

With over 26,000 mutual funds at your disposal, the number of fund options now far outweighs the number of stocks for most investors. Here at AAII, we often use screening as our first step when researching stocks. Screening is one of the quickest ways to winnow down a large number of investment options to a more manageable number. Just as with stock screening, mutual fund screening enables investors to target mutual funds that exhibit strong characteristics, allowing you to focus on those mutual funds worth a second look.

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