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FINRA Upgrades Fund Analyzer Tool to Add Fee, Discount Calculations

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority introduced a new and improved Fund Analyzer tool to help investors and financial professionals understand the impact of fees and potential discounts on mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded notes and money market funds.

The Fund Analyzer’s live data feed allows individuals to sort through and compare more than 30,000 products and run a wide variety of investment scenarios. The tool also enables users to calculate how a fund’s fees, expenses and discounts impact the value of a fund over time.

“The enhanced design allows investors to better determine which funds might meet their investing needs at the lowest cost while providing the best value,” Gerri Walsh, FINRA’s senior vice president for investor education, said in a statement. “We have also added advanced features that allow the tool to model typical investor behaviors and to illustrate the impact that wrap accounts or flat fees can have on overall costs as well as future account value when holding mutual funds.”

Users may select up to three funds at a time to compare. After they input the amount of money they plan to invest and how long they plan to keep the fund, the Fund Analyzer performs the calculations.

The Fund Analyzer’s display helps visualize how a fund’s annual operating expenses compare to their product and share class peers.

The tool also includes features that allow analysis of new and emerging share classes with variable and firm-specific fee scenarios. It also includes fund-by-fund details regarding potential discounts funds may offer to investors; and data on a fund’s past performance.

“The Fund Analyzer tool can help investors make more informed choices,” Walsh said in a statement. “None of us can control future fund performance, but we can control our costs. One percent difference in fees can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over 20 years.”

The earlier version of Fund Analyzer tool is still available on FINRA’s website until Feb. 1, 2018.

In the coming months, FINRA says it plans to feature instructional videos to help investors better understand the Fund Analyzer’s more advanced features and data analyses functions.

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