The Elevator Pitch of Mutual Fund Observer


Mutual Fund Observer was established in the 1990s to cut through self-serving fund marketing fluff and Morningstar’s expansive coverage universe. David Snowball is the co-founder and lead writer of MFO. For two decades, he competed in academic debate competitions at college debate teams competing at an individual and team level, winning over 1500 individual rounds and 50 tournament championships.

He previously served as the closing moderator of Brill’s Mutual Fund Interactive and is the author of over 120 fund profiles. He resides in Davenport, Iowa.

Investing Overviews

Individual investors can access an expansive array of investments, from stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, each offering unique benefits, risks, and returns. Whether you’re just getting started or seeking ways to diversify your portfolio more effectively, we are here to help you understand any products you encounter and provide tools and resources tailored specifically for you.

Mutual Fund Observer provides an all-encompassing resource for all of your investing needs. Here you’ll find detailed descriptions of all major categories of investments, how they’re purchased and sold, and any risks to be aware of. Plus, there are tools available to evaluate fund performance and understand its fees!

Mutual fund types typically available include money market, bond, and stock funds. Other categories include target date funds which adapt their mix of stocks and bonds over time to fit your retirement goals or lifecycle stage, and sustainable investments, which invest in companies that demonstrate environmental, social, and governance best practices. We offer extensive information regarding sustainable investments.

Funds incur operating fees and expenses, ultimately impacting shareholders with lower returns. Since these costs can accumulate over time, selecting one with lower operating expenses is critical for optimizing returns.

No matter the purpose of your search for an ideal investment fund, our tool can help. Use it to compare its expenses against those in its category or industry peer group to understand whether potential new investments meet expectations.

Our MultiSearch tool makes navigating this noise easier by providing information such as premium/discount highs and lows, NAVs on sale for ETFs and Closed-End Funds (CEFs), absolute values ratings such as alpha tracking error metrics or Ferguson Metrics, as well as relative outperformance against its benchmark over specific periods.

Fund Profiles

Fund fact sheets provide critical details regarding mutual funds’ costs, investment objectives, and risks. You can access them both online or through their prospectuses.

Investment in mutual funds can be complex and time-consuming, yet financial advisors are invaluable in your investing journey. While they provide valuable support, successful investors also possess some knowledge about their investments – this doesn’t have to involve poring over endless spreadsheets full of numbers!

The Observer’s fund profiles can help you better understand the costs and strategies funds employ to generate returns. We cover critical details like portfolio manager experience, fees/expenses of each fund, and its position within the market.

A thorough fund profile will reveal details such as the type of portfolio the fund has constructed, it’s level of diversification, whether or not dividends/interest are reinvested into the fund, accumulation or payout features available, as well as how many holdings there are in each size/style box; this is useful when trying to ascertain whether a fund is concentrated or broadly diversified.

It will also display the average annual fee for each fund, an essential aspect when comparing funds, and provide an idea of its return over time and compare this against benchmarks such as S&P 500 index funds.

Please be mindful that past performance does not guarantee future results, and there can be no guarantees that a fund will perform similarly to its peers or the broader market. Furthermore, the price will fluctuate, and gains or losses could occur when buying and selling shares; prices and returns do not account for sales charges which reduce overall returns; for more details, please consult the TD Ameritrade Fund Disclosure document.

Launch Alerts

Google searches for “mutual funds” return 52 million web pages; if you want to invest, sifting through that much information can be daunting and inconvenient – that’s why we established a mutual fund observer. At our firm, we go beyond marketing fluff and computer-generated recommendations to offer impartial and independent coverage for investors, managers, and advisers with thoughtful investments and strategies. Our monthly issue contains investing overviews, fund profiles, Launch Alerts for newly launched funds, Elevator Talks – micro interviews with folks running attractive funds – and industry news summaries in Briefly Noted. Think of it like the FAA’s launch alert list for rocket chasers looking to be at Vandenberg when spacecraft take off! Subscribe today. (c) 2016 Mutual Fund Observer.

Elevator Talks

Navigating is an information maze with over 52 billion pages indexed on the web. One effective strategy to navigate it successfully is crafting an elevator pitch to explain why what you do matters to others.

At MFO, our target readers are intellectually curious and seriously invested managers, advisers, and individuals. Our content avoids marketing fluff and computer-generated recommendations prevalent in online articles – such as those from Morningstar – offering supporting overviews, fund profiles, Launch Alerts to showcase new funds as they arrive, and Elevator Talks that feature those running intriguing funds while providing industry news in Briefly Noted.

MFO features many voices; David Snowball writes the majority of articles, while we also feature those like Ed Studzinski from Oakmark Equity & Income, who provides philosophical and historical analyses; Charles Boccadoro from our data and analytics division shares technical advice; Bob Cochran from our discussion board weighs in on different subjects each month; as well as more. Our list grows each month! MFO does not offer recommendations but provides readers with the tools for informed investment decision-making.