April 2023 IssueLong scroll reading

New Payment Portal for MFO Premium

By Charles Boccadoro

This past week we upgraded our payment portal on MFO Premium from PayPal Standard to PayPal Commerce Platform. We’re hopeful the new portal will make subscribing and resubscribing easier and safer.

We introduced MFO’s Rating System nearly 10 years ago, which included metrics that we found difficult to obtain at the time, like maximum drawdown, downside deviation, Ulcer index, and Martin and Sortino ratios. We also coined the designation MFO Great Owls for funds that historically provided the highest ratio of return versus drawdown in their respective categories. We then resurrected and revised MFO Three Alarm and Honor Roll designations from our legacy Fund Alarm site.

Shortly after we introduced the rating system, we provided the MFO community with a simple online fund screener called “Miraculous MultiSearch,” and a dashboard of all funds David has profiled. Today, all of our legacy ratings and basic screeners remain available freely on our MFO Premium site, which launched in 2015.

The pages and tools on the top part of the navigation bar are public and free. No need for PayPal Commerce here. Below find links to each:

Access to our premium tools, listed at the bottom of the navigation bar, does require a subscription (donation to MFO), which is $120 per year. The subscription does not automatically renew.

MFO Premium search tools feature:

  • U.S. Mutual Funds, ETFs, ETNs, CEFs, and Insurance Funds.
  • All share classes, survivors only.
  • Extensive risk and return metrics back to 1960.
  • Key US index and allocation performance back to 1926.
  • Numerous evaluation periods, including lifetime, YTD, multi-year, multi-month, decadal, calendar decade, plus full, bear, bull, and other unique market cycles.
  • Tailorable, sortable, and exportable result tables.
  • Storable Watchlists, Searches, and Preferences.
  • A suite of analytics: Correlation, Rolling Averages, Up/Downside Capture, Period Returns and Ratings, Batting Averages, Benchmark Comparisons, Trend and Momentum, Lipper Leaders, and Ferguson.

MultiSearch, our main search tool, will sort through thousands of funds based on more than 300 screening criteria, seriously. Its Pre-Set Screens provide an easy way to get a quick overview of markets and notable funds.

Other premium tools include Fund Family Scorecard, Dashboard of Launch Alerts, Portfolios, Category Averages, MFO Charts, and Quick Access Analytics. The homepage has screenshots, webinar videos, and briefings for more detail.

MFO Premium has evolved considerably since its launch, usually the result of subscriber feedback. During the first quarter of this year, we worked extensively to improve rating update speed, with the new goal of posting updates each weekend, reflecting performance through Friday.

The other focus was improving the payment portal for new subscribers and resubscribers. We’ve used PayPal Standard since 2019. Below are a couple of snapshots from the new PayPal Commerce Platform. The first is obtained for new subscribers via Login/Individual Subscription (or Corporate Subscription) link and for current subscribers via the Account/Subscriptions/Renew link.

It was also important for us to provide a payment portal that did not require a special account with the portal provider, which in this case is PayPal. While users with PayPal accounts can use log-in if they wish, no PayPal account is needed to complete the subscription to MFO Premium.

Below is a screenshot of payment options for guest users of PayPal. The online method is the most seamless option to track and update your subscriptions, summarized on the MFO Premium Account page. All that said, as always, if you experience any issues or have recommendations for improvement, please email me… will respond soonest!


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About Charles Boccadoro

Charles Boccadoro, BS (MIT), Post Graduate Diploma (von Karman Institute, BELGIUM). Associate editor, data wizard. Described by Popular Science as “enthusiastic, voluble and nattily-dressed,” Charles describes himself as “a recently retired aerospace engineer.” He doesn’t brag about a 30 year career that included managing Northrop Grumman’s Quiet Supersonic Platform and Future Strike Systems projects, working with NASA and receiving a host of industry accolades. Charles is renowned for thoughtful, data-rich analyses and is the driving force behind the Observer’s fund ratings and fund screeners.