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Monday, April 18, 2011

Farewell, FundAlarm

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

After 15 years, FundAlarm is bidding adieu. Founder Roy Weitz is pulling the plug on the Web site at the end of this month. The site, whose mission is to help investors decide when to sell a mutual fund through monthly commentaries and a database of "Alarming" funds," is also known for its vibrant discussion board.

To fill the void, David Snowball, a college professor who has served as a senior fund analyst at FundAlarm since 2006, is launching Mutual Fund Observer (www.mutualfundobserver.com), which he calls a Web site "in the tradition of FundAlarm."

Weitz informed readers of Fund Alarm's impending closing in a note on March 1. "Lately, life has continued to impinge on FundAlarm, and even my reduced role has become impossible to sustain. I informed David a month ago that FundAlarm's long run probably was near its end. A few days ago, David and I decided that we would make a clean break, and that we would shut down FundAlarm at the end of April," Weitz wrote.

Like its predecessor, Mutual Fund Observer will be a free, independent, non-commerical site. It will host a discussion board and monthly commentaries from Snowball, and offer free profiles of two funds each month. It will also provide a look at upcoming no-load funds that are in registration with the SEC.

"Both Roy and over a hundred of FundAlarm's followers asked if I would continue FundAlarm's mission of education and service. And, really, who could turn away from the appeal, 'Come on, Snowball, do it for my mom'?" wrote Snowball on Mutual Fund Observer's site.

Snowball plans to publish the first set of Mutual Fund Observer profiles on May 1, the same day that a new commentary will hit the site.  

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