By Richard Loth (Contact | Biography)

When it comes to mutual fund data, there is a huge information overload. But do not despair. To effectively determine the investment quality of a mutual fund, you are only going to have to deal with eight items and we'll show you how to do this in a simple, yet effective, manner.

The first step in this process is to provide you with the "maps" that you can use to find the evaluative data you need to complete a Fund Investment Quality Scorecard. Among the various sources of mutual fund data, the fund reports provided by Morningstarand Value Line are of the greatest practical value. These independent investment research firms are universally respected for the quality and objectivity of their reporting. And, most importantly, for the vast majority of individual investors, these firms' mutual fund reports rank at the top of the list in terms of their affordability and general accessibility.

Using a technique akin to the paint-by-the-numbers approach used by beginning artists, the information points you need to focus on in these reports are keyed to the eight investment qualities that are evaluated in a Fund IQ Scorecard.

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