I use etrade for my IRA and non-retirement savings and that is why I have access to their mutual fund screener which I have talked a little bit about.
So today, when I signed in to make my next pick, a Large Cap Value fund, I was surprised to see that they have upgraded their fund screener.
The old screener was more or less like what you can find on any financial news web site. But the new features will make it much easier to do what I have been doing: pick no-load funds by sector specifically looking for good non-retirement investments.
Some obvious improvements include being able to exclude closed funds and exclude funds that require huge amounts for initial investments. Even better, as I add criteria, I get a running tally of how many funds are available based on my choices so if I am too restrictive and only a few funds will show when I pull up the details, I can expand my search. The last major improvement is that I can save my criteria- so as I start each new search, all I have to change is the category I am looking at.
So... Specifically I am screening out funds that:
- are available through etrade
- are no-load, no-fee funds
- are available to new investors
- have 3-5 stars from morningstar (some index funds end up with 3 stars)
- have below $5000 initial investment (I wish it let me set this at $2500 because that is my actual cut-off for this project
- have an expense ratio below 1.5 (different categories have different averages on this and turnover so this will be a setting I tweak)
- have a low turnover
I am poking around a bit and it looks like they have replaced the Standard and Poors report they used to link to each fund with an in-house etrade report. The new report and new detail screens look nice and are easier to navigate through. The one piece missing is the style composition box- which I actually used a good bit. I'll email etrade and ask about it which will also give me a chance to see, anecdotally, if their customer service has improved at all.