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Mutual Funds/Interpreting Mutual Funds



Thanks for your service.  I am a non-math person, so I am setting the proper context.  I would like to know what the following terms mean.  Perhaps it could best be explained if you used $100 as an example.

On web page 1 you will see YTD, 1 yr, 3 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs for Select Biotechnology Portfolio (FBIOX).  I would like to know what the year designations mean if the money were left in, and how to figure it out.  For example, does 3 years mean that the percentage shown is applied 3 times, once for each year, or is it applied 1 time to represent the full three years.

Also, on web page 2 it mentions trailing returns: YTD, 1 yr 3yrs annualized.  Is this calculation the same as above, or does it have a different meaning. (annualized)

Thank you very much

Here is web page 1:!&ntf=Y&msrV=advanced&msrA=4%2C5&fdPks=Y&mgdBy=F

Here is  web page 2:

Hi Kee,

For web page 1, the YTD, 1, 3, 5 and 10 years reflects the performance of the fund from, for example, 3 years ago until today (today might be today or last month end, etc.) Yes, you could describe it as you leaving the money in for the entire period.  These returns are called time weighted returns.  For web page 2, annualized generally means the average annual return over the period.  For example, if a cumulative return over a 3 year period is 75%, the annualized return is approximately 25% (75/3). The actual annualized return would be close but not exactly 25%. For the Weits Fund, the 3 year return is suggesting that it returned on average 15.7% per year for each of the three years.  This would translate into a cumulative return of about 47%.  

To use $100 as a starting point.  The Weitz Fund's 15.7% annualized return would generate about $15.7 in each of the 3 years for a total gain of $47.

I hope this helps

Michael Weiss

Mutual Funds

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Michael Weiss, CFA


I can answer most questions about mutual funds.


I am the owner of Series 7 Exam Tutor , a financial tutoring business that provides personalized tutoring for the Series 7 Exam, the Series 6 Exam ,the Series 65 Exam, the Series 66 Exam, the Series 63 Exam and the Series 24 Exam . I also offer tutoring for finance courses. For additional information, please visit, Finance Exam Tutor. Prior to launching Series 7 Exam Tutor, I worked in investments for 20 years with the majority of this time focused on investment analysis and portfolio management. I have worked for large companies such as Merrill Lynch and Evergreen Investments and have also worked for smaller firms as well. Throughout my career, I have sought to mentor younger colleagues whenever possible, especially those enrolled in the CFA program. I completed the CFA program in 2002 after passing all three exams on the first try. I also passed the Series 7 Exam with a score of 94%. For additional information about me, you can visit the links below:

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M.B.A. in Finance & Investments from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College and a B.A. in Finance & Economics from the City University of New York - Baccalaureate Program.

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