Before Investing, Understand Your Funds

How can you “get to know” a fund before buying it? In this explainer, I look at the questions you are likely to want to ask and how to answer those questions by patching together information from a variety of sources including fund fact sheets (what exactly does the fund contain?), returns from the indices that funds track and various historical return and risk measures including, alpha, beta, volatility, return, tracking error (for passive funds), Sharpe Ratio and Information Ratio (for active funds).