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Take Me to Your Leaders

A new research tool helps you find leading mutual funds.

By Dian Vujovich

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you research mutual funds, you've probably seenMorningstar's mutual fund reports and its five-star ratingsystem. Another research tool gaining attention is Lipper Leaders,introduced by Denver-based Lipper Inc. in 2001. And in this case,big orange checksmarks matter most.

"There is no one-size fund that fits all investors,"says Jeff Tjornehoj, a Lipper research analyst. "Many criteriaare critical when making an investment decision. We'veidentified five of them." They include: a fund's totalreturn, consistent return, preservation (of capital), taxefficiency and expense. Funds are assigned scores for each of thesecriteria. The highest score a fund can receive is a Lipper Leadersorange checkmark, meaning its performance ranks in the topquintile. The second highest score is 2, representing funds scoringin the second quintile; the third best is a 3; and so on, down to5.

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