You understand funds and are ready to invest. Learn the essentials of picking the best funds for you.

You have thousands upon thousands of possible mutual funds you can invest in. Which one(s) should you choose? Certainly not just any one. Let this tutorial help you. It provides five simple questions that will get you started on selecting a fund that is good for you.

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Do you use benchmarks to evaluate a mutual fund's performance? Let's look at the case for doing so. There are several alternatives you can use -- a personal benchmark, an index, and fund peer groups.

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We'll tackle two common yardsticks for measuring a fund's risk: standard deviation and beta. Both appear often in financial media.

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Morningstar offers its own yardsticks to help you measure an investment's risk from various angles and get additional depth.

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By using alpha and the Sharpe ratio together, investors have additional tools at their disposal to help them choose investments.

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You may know about alphas and Sharpe ratios. But those figures need context to be useful; enter Morningstar's proprietary fund ratings.

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A quick way to identify the characteristics of the stocks in a fund is the Morningstar style box. This tool is offered by Morningstar.

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The Morningstar style box gives you a snapshot of a fund's investment style. You can use it to learn how a fund invests.

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The value of a good fund manager cannot be overstated. The manager is making big decisions that will affect your financial success.

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If you want to invest in mutual funds but have not taken the plunge, this course is for you. Here are some pointers for newbies.

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Some types of funds may be especially attractive to beginning investors. Index funds and funds of funds can appeal to these people.

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