The software, called Lipper-Barra Mutual Fund Risk Factor, allows advisors and other financial institutions to evaluate a mutual funds risk compared to its category as well as broader fund categories. Lipper said that the product forecasts a funds expected performance range over the course of a year, then produces a graph that can be used to asses whether a fund will best serve a specific client. Funds are then compared to their peers within Lippers classification system, as well as their asset classes.
Robin Thurston, Lippers director of research and marketing, said in a statement that investors and advisors have "had a limited ability to measure the risk in a mutual fund," and that the new product is designed to solve that problem.
The software is available as a Web-based application as well as an XML feed and conventional "tab-delimited" data feed.