One smart way to begin 2007 is to be sure your 401(k) is generating the best return. makes it easy for you to examine the funds in your 401(k) with our new screening service from Ratings. The screener is free, and accessible on our flagship site through the tile in the upper right column, or click here .

Best yet, Ratings screener is very easy to use.

On the screener home page, you can search for the top-rated mutual funds, stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Once you choose between one of these three, the screening criteria appears on the left.

Here's a sample of a way you can use the screener.

Since we're examining our 401(k) holdings, let's press the tab for mutual funds. On the left, say, we want to find Equity Income funds that are rated A or higher, with a one-year return of 20% are higher, and don't carry a load charge. On the left navigation, under Rating, use the drop down box to select A or higher. Then just use the drop downs in the descending boxes - Fund Objective, Load, and Return -- to set your appropriate screen.

The funds that meet your criteria appear in the middle column. As you set the screener in the criteria boxes, you will notice that the results change each time a new screen is set.

We have one additional feature: On the ETF and Stock screens, a brief outlook on those appears in the far right column. You can receive a more thorough report by clicking "More Detail," which appears at the bottom of the summary. For mutual funds, you receive a brief report and can check the latest quote on the fund in the stock quote box.

We certainly hope that you enjoy this new tool and find it useful in your investments and research. Please let us know what you think of the screener service and ways that we can improve it.

Dave Morrow
David Morrow is editor-in-chief of In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.