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Selecting and tracking the performance of mutual funds can be a daunting task. There are more than 2,000 funds in Canada, with many new names launched every year while others are discontinued. The rise of online brokers has made stocks and exchange traded funds more popular these days, but mutual funds are still where the majority of our hard-earned retirement dollars go.

The Globe and Mail has been the go-to source for mutual fund information for self-directed investors and many financial advisers for many years and our website is still unrivalled in its depth of advice, data and research tools.

Looking for a particular fund? Near the top of the screen is a navigation bar in which you can type in a fund name. A list of suggestions will come up and one click will get you to a profile page of the fund you are looking for.

Or perhaps you are digging for data on performance and costs. Visit the Funds section of Globe Investor, which you can easily navigate to through the URL (or, under the Investing Tab at the top of the screen, click on the tab "funds and ETFs" directly below it.)

On the Funds page, you'll find extensive resources to research funds: filters, charts, ratings, year-by-year performance, biggest daily winners and losers, comparative rankings, most popular fund quotes, and much more. You'll also find the latest news and columns about funds from our team of the most experienced financial journalists in the country.

When you want to track a fund's performance on a regular basis, you can do so by entering it into your Watchlist. For those on the go, you can also follow your Watchlist by downloading our iPhone and BlackBerry apps for Globe Investor.

Watchlist lets you track both your mutual funds and stocks (as well as segregated funds, ETFs, hedge funds and retail venture capital funds) in this one handy tool.

Once you are following specific funds on your Watchlist, you can select from three views: Overview, Cumulative Return and Year-by-Year Return.

The Overview contains latest prices, net assets, MERs, a one-year chart, the year-to-date change, the one-year change, the three-year return and the Globe Fund Star Rating. The Globe Fund Star Rating compares funds against their peers over recent periods. Five-star funds rank higher than single-star funds.

The Cumlative Return contains the five-day change, three-month change, one-year change, three-year return, five-year return, the return since inception and the standard deviation.

The Year-by-Year Return helps you break down annual returns the past three years and how the return performed against its peers in each year. This is the quartile ranking. Ideally, you want to buy funds that consistently rank in the top quartile.

When you want to drill into more information on a fund, click on the fund name to go to the fund profile page.

You can also click on the one-year chart to go to a larger chart of the fund's performance. From there you can choose time period of up to 10 years or since the fund's inception and compare that fund's performance to an index.

We're here to help and we'd love to hear your suggestions and feedback. Simply drop us a line at

Darcy Keith

Web Editor, Globe Investor.