This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How to Analyze Mutual Fund Performance

Opening your mutual fund statement at the end of the second quarter should be a lot less painful than it's been in years.

The broader market, after all, has shot up 11% since the end of March. The Nasdaq's done even better, rocketing 14%.

But after the glee subsides, you'll have to think about what this fund performance is telling you and what changes you should make to your investments -- if any.

Here's a sampling of what you might see when that statement arrives, and what you should do.

Compare, Compare, Compare

Performance is the only thing you'll really see when you rip open that account statement. It's valuable but easily misused. A fund that's up a lot over a short period of time isn't necessarily a good investment. And a fund that's down a lot may not be so bad.

The point is: You cannot look at this information in a vacuum. A good fund in an out-of-favor sector can be better going forward than a bad fund in a hot area.

First, you'll have to compare how your stock funds have done vs. broad-market benchmarks like the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Then you can move on to examine how those funds have done against their peers.

Morningstar's Web site includes a simple performance ranking of all mutual fund categories for the past month, three months, year and so on. Click here to go to the performance ranking.

So you shouldn't expect a large-cap value fund to have kept up with, say, that tech fund you have leftover from the late '90s. Value stocks held up incredibly well in 2000 and 2001, when the rest of the market was collapsing. That corner of the market is up this year, but just not as much as riskier sectors like tech.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.19 0.01%
FB $117.58 0.13%
GOOG $691.60 -0.11%
TSLA $232.35 0.01%
YHOO $35.89 -0.33%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,671.67 -79.24 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,052.89 -10.48 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,738.5050 -24.7190 -0.52%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs