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Is That Mutual Fund as Good as It Looks?

May 27, 2011 8:00 PM ET
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

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Michael Michaud is the founder owner of Invest2Success.com (http://www.invest2success.com/). He has been investing and trading in the financial markets since 1989.

He founded Invest2Success.com to empower independent and institutional investors traders to take control of their financial destiny by providing them education training mentorship and support for them to research analyze invest and trade in the markets successfully in the long-term.

As he says, "With knowledge, dated goals, a plan of action, then taking action, profitable investing and trading success will only be a matter of time."

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May 28, 2011 - Is That Mutual Fund as Good as It Looks? - by Morningstar Investment Research

I've seen references to both trailing and rolling returns on Morningstar and elsewhere. What do those terms mean? Is there a difference, and if so, what is it?

Morningstar assistant site editor Esther Pak recently answered these questions, noting that even though trailing and rolling returns might appear to be similar, they provide distinct views of an investment's past performance. And though trailing returns are more commonly cited than rolling numbers, both can be a useful part of your analytical process. Pak detailed the differences between the two types of returns, how to find them using tools on Morningstar.com, and how to utilize these returns data when managing your portfolios.

Five Questions to Ask Before Purchasing an Annuity

Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz recently sat down with Morningstar site editor Jason Stipp to discuss some key issues that investors should consider before putting their money into annuities. Below is an excerpt of the interview.

Stipp: So, there would be many decisions involved in choosing an annuity. These five questions are meant to give you a start on that decision making process, a place to begin. The first one relates to what I mentioned in the intro that there are lots of different kinds of these things. The first one is just getting an handle on what type you are being recommended.

Benz: That's right, I often talk to people, Jason, I am sure you do too, who when they are talking about their annuity, they are not really sure what they have. They are not even a 100% sure its an annuity until you poke around and ask a few more questions and determine that it is. So, this is obviously a key stumbling block, yet people still buy annuities without really understanding them. So, my advice is if someone is pitching you on annuity, ask, "Is this a variable annuity, or is it fixed annuity? Is it an immediate annuity or is it deferred? Or is it an equity indexed annuity?"

Among the other topics we addressed this week:

Introducing Morningstar.com's New Fund Analyst Picks Page. See how our picks have performed and screen for funds that fit your needs.

How Can We Live With These Housing Blues? The persistent weakness of the housing sector continues to weigh down the recovery.

The Many Faces of Risk. Do you know it when you see it?

Another Manager Leaves PIMCO. Plus, PIMCO shutters three funds while T. Rowe creates a new one.

Hidden Gems Among Our Analyst Picks. These small-fry wonders are flying under the radar but can complement your portfolio nicely.

PIMCO's Freshly Cut Fees. How sweet are they really?

Four Stocks That Buffett and Combs Could Be Buying. Berkshire's hidden first-quarter transactions leave plenty to the imagination.

How ETFs Fit Into the New Investment Landscape. Why fees are more important than ever.

The Error-Proof Portfolio: Don't Give Short Shrift to Peace of Mind. Sometimes it's OK to listen to your gut.

Credit Risk Could Be Worth the Return. Credit spreads remain attractive compared with historical levels and offer adequate compensation for risk-takers, say the managers of Franklin Federal Tax-Free Income.

Volatility Does Not Equal Risk. Real risk is not the danger of prices moving, but the danger of prices moving suddenly and permanently downward.

Funds That Are Avoiding Commodities. Not everybody has jumped on the commodity bandwagon.

Five Retiree Stumbling Blocks. Although there are many uncertainties about the future of retirement, you can take action now to negotiate the trouble spots.

Morningstar SmartInvestor - Updated Every Weekend

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