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Monday, April 07, 2008

SEC Puts XBRL Data to Use

News summary by MFWire's editors

The SEC is already making use of data filed by funds using XBRL. The regulator has rolled out a new tool on its website called "The Mutual Fund Reader." Using it, investors can compare a fund’s cost, risk, investment objectives and strategies, and historical performance. Some fund complexes already speaking in XBRL include: John Hancock, American Funds, Alliance Bernstein, Fidelity, OpFunds, T.Rowe Price, Vanguard and More.

Company Press Release

Washington, D.C., April 7, 2008 – Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today announced the launch of a new Internet Web page that enables investors to more easily read, analyze, and compare the information provided by mutual funds related to fund cost, risk, and past performance.

The Mutual Fund Reader – available on the SEC’s Web site at http://www.sec.gov/xbrl – follows on the Commission’s new rules that permit mutual funds to voluntarily provide information to the SEC and investors using interactive data. Now, investors can review the interactive information provided by mutual funds, including a fund’s cost, risk, investment objectives and strategies, and historical performance.

“The Mutual Fund Reader is an important, time-saving step to help investors compare various mutual funds at the click of a mouse,” said Chairman Cox. “It will help ordinary investors use mutual fund information quickly to make the best decisions in investing for retirement, college education, health care, and other financial needs.”

Andrew J. Donohue, Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, added, “We commend the mutual funds that are demonstrating their commitment to investors by volunteering to help lead this movement to interactive data. The new viewer will enable investors to use the interactive information that these mutual funds have stepped forward to provide.”

The SEC approved rule amendments in June 2007 to enable mutual funds to submit risk/return summary information from their prospectuses using interactive data. Already, 20 mutual funds have voluntarily submitted their information in interactive data format since Aug. 20, 2007. Additional filers are expected to participate in the coming months.

Interactive data is powered by XBRL, a computer software language that labels companies’ financial and other data so that investors and analysts can more easily find what they’re looking for, and use the information for comparisons and analysis.

Edited by: Erin Kello

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