June 2018 IssueLong scroll reading

Update on MFO Premium

By David Snowball

Charles sends his regrets for being unable to join us this issue, but he’s retreated deep underground to the MFO Premium command center.

At Charles’s request, the good folks at Thomson Reuters have substantially (vastly, enormously) expanded the amount of data they provide each month. The new datafeed will not only allow MFO Premium users to access a new level of detail about the composition and performance of mutual funds and ETFs, but it will also allow us to expand our coverage to closed-end funds and insurance products. At the end of the conversion, you’ll be able to screen for and analyze something like 36,000 investment products.

Charles describes the new monthly data drop this way:

35575 total entries

27042 mutual funds (all share classes)

4023 insurance funds

2188 ETFs

1515 indices

614 CEFs

168 categories (averages)

Delivered in …

14,383 data XML files for the performance data 


6,769,238,777 bytes (6.8 gigabytes)


14,117 data XML files for the holdings data 


99,313,147,272 bytes (99.3 gigabytes).

All that takes hours upon hours of time just to download, distill, crunch even with multiple 8th gen Intel core i7 processors.

That is not, as it turns out, a plug-and-play operation and Charles has sunk hundreds of hours in May to making the conversion. We’re really, really close; Charles can generate ratings using the new data but he’s not yet satisfied about its complete integrity. He grabbed a handful of MREs and headed underground, intent on discovering whether he can break the system, so that it won’t happen to you!

Charles will resurface next month, bright-eyed and happy to share tales from the conference, word on the new database and analyses of the two funds he’s been profiling.

Until then, you might consider joining MFO Premium. It’s a phenomenal resource for tax-deductible $100. We’re perpetually amazed that the number of subscribers is low in the hundreds rather than high in the thousands. You can change that, and should!

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About David Snowball

David Snowball, PhD (Massachusetts). Cofounder, lead writer. David is a Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, a nationally-recognized college of the liberal arts and sciences, founded in 1860. For a quarter century, David competed in academic debate and coached college debate teams to over 1500 individual victories and 50 tournament championships. When he retired from that research-intensive endeavor, his interest turned to researching fund investing and fund communication strategies. He served as the closing moderator of Brill’s Mutual Funds Interactive (a Forbes “Best of the Web” site), was the Senior Fund Analyst at FundAlarm and author of over 120 fund profiles. David lives in Davenport, Iowa, and spends an amazing amount of time ferrying his son, Will, to baseball tryouts, baseball lessons, baseball practices, baseball games … and social gatherings with young ladies who seem unnervingly interested in him.