The boom in competition among mutual funds has spawned a new competitive battle: This one is among fund evaluators.
Value Line Investment Survey, which calls itself the nation's "leading provider" of investment information through its well-known stock reports, said Thursday it is launching a new service that will judge and rank major stock and bond mutual funds.
The service is aimed at the growing ranks of fund investors--now 38 million--who have relatively few sources of consistent advice on which funds to buy or sell, said Jean Bernhard Buttner, head of Value Line in New York.
In scope and format, Value Line will go head-to-head with Chicago-based Morningstar Mutual Funds, which already provides periodic one-page evaluations of 1,240 funds. The 7-year-old Morningstar publication has more than 40,000 subscribers.
Ironically, Morningstar's success is partly owed to Value Line, which 25 years ago pioneered the concept of single-page, information-crammed reports on individual stocks, along with ratings that judge each stock's investment potential. The Value Line stock service claims 100,000 subscribers.
Value Line says it will regularly track 1,500 mutual funds, with semiannual updates on 500 more. Cost: $295 a year, versus Morningstar's regular price of $395.