Morningstar has launched a new performance tool, Morningstar Investor Return, which will provide data on open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to capture how the average investor fares in a fund over a period of time as they buy in and out of the fund. It complements the more traditional metric of total return, which measures what investors could have earned had they bought and held the fund, reinvesting all dividends, over a period of time.

For example, if a fund with just a few million dollars delivered stellar returns but then faltered as assets began to pour in, the performance analysis would place greater emphasis on the fund during the period when its assets were larger.

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