Rating System: D - Design | E - Ease of Use | V - Value

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This Dallas-based online brokerage bills itself as "America's Mutual Fund Superstore." More than 7,000 funds from 500 different families for sale. Smart, frame-based layout makes for simple navi-gation. Offers managed-account program for investors too busy to do their own research. Lacks original content and propri-etary research tools.

D-8 | E-9 | V-8

Brill's Mutual Funds Interactive
Brill's redesigned site now gives you easier access to its many useful mutual fund resources and tools. Brill's provides news, columns, and in-depth analyses of mutual funds and industry issues. Offers something for all types of mutual fund investors, espe-cially beginners. Message boards sport solid, serious postings.

D-9 | E-9 | V-10

Fabian Investment Resources
The oft-quoted mutual fund advisory service tells investors when to buy and sell. Check out their Lemon List to find out which funds to dump immediately, and learn why these funds perform so badly. President and editor Doug Fabian pinpoints future buying windows, picks apart the best and worst funds in families, and gives a weekly mar-ket overview on funds. Offers many sub-scription fund-recommendation services.

D-8 | E-8 | V-9

Find a Fund
Mutual fund reference site sorts invest-ments by name, category, and ticker sym-bol. Weekly "Top Performers," chronicling funds that beat particular benchmarks, and "Category Spotlight," focusing on funds that invest in particular industries or equi-ties, make this site worth a regular visit. Includes a fund education section for beginners, a portfolio tool, and a bunch of other mutual fund statistics.

D-7 | E-8 | V-9

Free Site specializes in alerting you when to jettison a poor-performing mutual fund. Features include performance data on more than 2,100 funds and a list of recent man-agement changes at fund companies. But the monthly updated data may be too stale for the hustle and bustle of today's markets. Peruse the list of "3-Alarm Funds," which have underperformed their benchmark for the past quarter, year, and half-decade.

D-7 | E-7 | V-10

Innovative site for mutual funds. Plug in stocks you like and dislike at Fund4You section to find like-minded mutual funds. Sign up for electronic updates of changes in fund holdings. Coming: ability to combine different fund holdings for personalized analysis.

D-7 | E-8 | V-7

ICI Mutual Fund Connection
Investment Company Institute's free educa-tional resource includes audio clips and PDF files (Acrobat required) that explain the various facets of mutual fund investing.

D-8 | E-7 | V-9

Index Funds Online
Solid resource for investigating index funds. Exhaustive background info, frank analysis and commentary, and excellent links to arti-cles and Web sites on indexes. Explains types of indexes, and lists funds tracking them.

D-8 | E-9 | V-9

Recently revamped resource for mutual fund investors. Free portfolio tool lets you moni-tor funds from a selection of more than 8,000 U.S. and Canadian securities. Provides daily updates and monthly charts.

D-8 | E-7 | V-9

$ Internet Closed-End Fund Investor
Closed-end fund source offers some free services, including an investing guide, dis-cussion forum, quarterly performance, and links. Basic subscription - charts, profiles, performance comparisons, and daily reports - costs $20 a month or $120 a year.

D-5 | E-7 | V-8

Lipper Analytical
Global mutual fund information source for pros. Lipper Mutual fund Club lets any user download mutual fund prospectuses, annual reports, and other documents. Also includes a glossary of mutual fund terms.

D-7 | E-7 | V-6

The Morningstar for the whole world. Excellent source for the serious individual mutual fund investor with a global scope. Daily and weekly data on 38,000 funds around the world. Paid software and data-bases run thousands of dollars. But plenty of free information here. Data divided by sector. Performance tables let you compare funds within each sector.

D-8 | E-7 | V-10

Moody's - Blue Chip Picks
Bond-rating powerhouse Moody's Investor Services spews mountains of research on thousands of companies and publishes a lot of it on the Web for free. Even though you're not likely to be investing directly in the corporate and sovereign bonds that Moody's covers, its research can be used for equity investing as well. Curious about how well a company can weather an econom-ic downturn? Moody's is likely to have an opinion on the matter, provided the company has debt to be rated. Don't b turned off by the unattractive design - they're probably too focused on the research itself - because the entire package can't be found elsewhere. Too bad the site's search capability stinks, making it dif-ficult to find research on specific companies. Moody's page devoted to recent ratings changes overflows with info, while its industry and economic analyses are thorough, easy reads. Moody's rates selected mutual funds too.

D-7 | E-8 | V-10

The go-to player in mutual fund rating in trying to become a stock rating company, as well. To get your attention, they're offer-ing free ratings of stocks, using grades of A through F for growth, profitability, financial health, and valuation. Plus, you'll find in-depth stock commentary, quotes, charting, and screening. The redesigned site contin-ues to offer top-notch mutual funds related research, as well as the fattest mutual fund message boards we know of. Advanced tools cost $9.95 a month.

D-9 | E-9 | V-10

The Mutual Fund Investor's Center
Trade association's soothingly designed site includes a mutual-fund portfolio tool, performance ratings, and decent commentary from industry strategists and analysts. Portfolio tool lets you input data from more than 9,000 funds.

D-9 | E-9 | V-10

Mutual Funds Central
Comprehensive directory of mutual fund sites divided into easy-to-use categories. Links to fund news, performance, research, ratings, and the like from sources all over the Web.

D-6 | E-9 | V-8

$ MutualFundsnet
Search tool lets you find the Web sites of many mutual fund complexes and broker-dealers. Also includes a message board and mutual fund quotes.

D-7 | E-6 | V-7

Rating System: D - Design | E - Ease of Use | V - Value

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