Lipper will begin offering mutual fund ratings to retail investors and advisers through a new Web site, LipperLeaders.com, starting Oct. 5, said Robin Thurston, director of research for the firm.

The new Web site will be similar to other LipperLeader Web sites currently offered in the U.K. and Switzerland.

The new ratings will focus on measuring the funds on return consistency and preservation of capital, Thurston said. The ratings will measure preservation of capital in three categories; equity, mixed equity and fixed income. Lipper will measure capital preservation by summing up the negative monthly returns over a 36-month period. Lipper Leaders will be the funds in the top 20% of each category, Thurston said.

Lipper will use its fund categories to measure and rate funds on consistent return. Lipper has more than 100 fund categories and only the top 20% in each category will make the list.

The Web site will eventually include a variety of online tools designed to make it easier for investment advisers and individual investors to create portfolios and conduct more complicated tasks, he said.

The site is free of charge, but Lipper is considering charging a fee for the reports, which will be available for each fund included on the Lipper Leader list, Thurston said.

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