Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Make better, more profitable investment decisions

If you're an investor in mutual funds, you may or may not know that the library subscribes to Morningstar, available in print format in the Warrenton library's business reference section. If you're like me, you might find the print edition, which can sometimes top out at 1600 pages, a tad intimidating. Luckily, the library also provides users access to Morningstar® Mutual Funds™ Online. Now you can access the latest issue under Most Recent Issue, select an entire group of funds to review under Reports by Category (i.e, small growth, short-term government bonds), or find a specific fund (i.e., Vanguard 500 Index) under Search. To use this online resource, please ask a reference librarian at the Warrenton, John Marshall or Bealeton Library to log you on to the service.

Morningstar Quick Facts:
Morningstar Mutual Funds is published in a 10-issue cycle called a volume. Twice per month, a new issue is delivered to the library (hard copy) and posted online. Each issue contains an Analysis Section and a Summary Section. It takes 10 issues or one volume (about five months) to update all 1600 funds covered in Morningstar Mutual Funds.

The Summary Section serves as an index for the entire 10-issue volume. It also includes a commentary, other editorial features (featured funds, top picks, analyst picks, etc.), and updated data tables. At the most basic level, the Summary Section functions as an alphabetical index to help you locate fund reports by page number. Additionally, this section provides a wealth of month-end data on all funds Morningstar covers and the Morningstar Categories.

The Analysis Section contains approximately 170 full-page fund reports, depending on the Morningstar Categories being covered in that issue.

For more library resources on mutual funds, check out the online catalog or ask at the reference desk.