I noticed in doing yesterday’s column that the Lipper data we use in the Mutual Funds Cost Calculator was not completely accurate for “LAFFX,” the Lord Abbett fund we were analyzing. Lipper was showing “0%” as the fund’s turnover for the year, which didn’t seem right.

To check the numbers, I visited two sites I think you may find helpful.

One site you probably know is Morningstar. It’s got lots of good information on mutual funds, and other things, much of it free. Of course, it may allow the occasional error to slip in too — at the end of the day, humans get involved in some of this stuff — but like our own data provider, Lipper, it is widely relied upon.

A site you may not know is Personal Logic. It’s added all kinds of fun things since I last looked, from helping you choose a car to helping your kid decide where to go to college to deciding what city to move to . . . even what to do on a date. (It told me to take Charles to a bookstore.) But if you scroll past those choices (and past what pet to buy, what meal to cook, and so on), you’ll come to mutual funds. I used the “compare” option to look up yesterday’s fund, LAFFX, and found that turnover last year had actually been 56%.

It is for just this reason — and to let you change the assumptions that underlie the calculations of our Mutual Funds Cost Calculator — that we have added an important new subcalculator. You reach it from the “results page,” in the text beneath the third table, where we project future fund performance. We provide you an opportunity to change almost anything — and guidance in when and how you might want to.

I plugged in the 56% turnover figure and found that LAFFX was even less impressive than I suggested yesterday.

If you haven’t already, please register with us when you visit the Mutual Funds Cost Calculator so we can keep you abreast of enhancements as we make them. It’s completely free, and we don’t share your e-mail address with anyone.

Tomorrow: Iced Tea, Diet Chocolate Soda, A Brief English Lesson, and What To Do If Your 401(k) Offers Rotten Mutual Fund Choices


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