FINRA Helps Investors Control Investment Costs

December 8, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on Monday launched the Fund Analyzer, an online tool to help mutual fund investors with investment choices.

The Fund Analyzer combines the capabilities of and replaces FINRA’s Mutual Fund Expense Analyzer and Mutual Fund Breakpoint Search Tool.   The application provides analysis from Morningstar, including Morningstar ratings and Morningstar Style Boxes that provide information about funds’ performance, holdings, and growth characteristics, according to a FINRA announcement.

Investors can use the Fund Analyzer to 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 announcement said.

The Fund Analyzer features customizable search parameters, examines over 18,000 open-end mutual funds, ETFs, and ETNs, and 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.

Additional information provided includes:

  • 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; and
  • Policies regarding Rights of Accumulation, Sales Charge Waivers, Contingent Deferred Sales Charges, and 12b-1 fees.

The Fund Analyzer is available at www.finra.org/fundanalyzer .

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