Course 109: Important Fund Documents, Part 2
Financial Statements
In this course
1 Introduction
2 Letter from the President
3 Letter from the Portfolio Manager
4 Recent Fund Performance
5 Portfolio Holdings
6 Footnotes
7 Financial Statements
8 What To Do Next

A fund's annual report concludes with its financial statements. Brace yourself: There's a lot of data here. In fact, this is where we get a lot of the data for the fund data reports shown on Morningstar.com and, if we do say so ourselves, we do a pretty good job of clarifying that data and putting it into context.

However, if raw numbers are your thing, you should take a look at the following: First, examine what's known as the fund's Selected Per-Share Data. This is usually the last page of actual information, located just before the legal discussion of accounting practices. Here you'll find the fund's NAVs, expense ratios, and portfolio turnover ratios for each of the past five years (or more). Check to see if the fund's expense ratio has gone down over time (we hope it has) and whether its turnover rate has changed much (if so, you may want to find out why).

Cost-conscious investors can check out the breakdown of fund's expenses, including management fees, under the Statement of Operations. In addition, you can find out how much in unrealized or undistributed capital gains you're facing, using the Statement of Assets and Liabilities. (A gain is unrealized when a stock has gone up but the fund hasn't sold it. As soon as the fund sells the stock, it becomes a "realized" gain, which has to be distributed to shareholders. We explored this concept in Lesson 104.)

Next: What To Do Next >>


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