Funds & ETF Investing

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    Guides »

    ETF Guide

    Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continue to grow in popularity. There are now approximately 330 ETFs that each manage more than $200 million in assets.

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    Top Mutual Funds

    Data downloads and “how-to” editorial are the perfect companion to our annual book.

Fund/ETF Investing Know-How

How to Rate a Mutual Fund: Personalizing the Star System

Toss the stars, chuck the checkmarks, cast aside the letter grades, and ignore any other mutual fund ratings that come down to an all-in-one rank.


For one, you can't really understand a fund, your investment, by staring at a checkmark or by gazing at the stars.

Another reason to jettison rating symbols is that they are all based on weighting systems that are unlikely to reflect your specific financial/investment profile: factors that are personal and unique, such as risk tolerance, investment horizon, financial goals, and tax situation.

Finally, the monolithic ranking icons may be overly seductive as investors embrace them as crystal balls when they are really more akin to rearview mirrors.

Personalized Ratings

Here's how you can effectively and efficiently rate a mutual fund...

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Featured Article

State-Based Exchange-Traded Funds

Update: The exchange-traded funds highlighted in this article were liquidated at the end of 2010.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are continuing to prove themselves as ever-present and almost chameleon-like in their ability to take on many new forms as a perceived need arises. The latest additions to the ETF world are state-based ETFs.

How It Works

Exchange-traded funds are portfolios of securities that are usually...

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Funds/ETF Investing Articles