How to select an equity mutual fund in 30 minutes!

Here is a video description of how to select an equity mutual fund in under 30 minutes using the freefincal mutual fund screener (now in Mac!) and if necessary with the rolling returns calculator.

The 5th version of the mutual fund screener was posted yesterday. I noticed a couple of bugs later. So I request that you redownload the file.

Download the freefincal mutual fund screener (May 2016 windows Excel)

Download the Mac Excel freefincal mutual fund screener (May 2016 Mac Excel)

A google sheets edition without some features is also available Mutual Fund Screener- Google Sheets Edition

Download the Mutual Fund SIP and Lump Sum Rolling Returns Calculators

 Instructions to log into Value Research

  1. Open blank excel
  2. Select Data in the menu
  3. Click get external data and then from web
  4. Excel will open an internet browser-like window (basically a box where you enter an url)  and there will be annoying script error messages. Dismiss them.
  5. Then Go to VR online in that window and go to  the main page. There will be annoying messages. Dismiss them.
  6. Click on login. If you are not able to do so. Stop the page from downloading and then click login
  7. Login with your email (preferable) and click on remember me.
  8. Now you can exit the browser window and start using the screener. It should work fine now.

Before heading to the video, it is important to recognise that this is a simple, (some might call) crude way to shortlist funds and pick one from them. It is more important to pick a fund and start investing rather than suffer from analysis paralysis.

It always important to remember that Selecting the right equity mutual fund scheme is not possible!

Note: In addition to these steps, once you have selected 1/2 funds, do spend some time reading about the investment style of the fund from the AMC website.

More details about the sheet can be found here: Mutual Fund Screener Version 5.0

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Updated: May 22, 2016 — 10:37 am

The Author

M. Pattabiraman

This article is authored by M. Pattabiraman. He is the co-author of two books: You can be rich too with goal based investing and Gamechanger. He is a patron and co-founder of "Fee-only India" an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice “Pattu” as he is popularly known, publishes research, analysis and holistic money management advice at which serves more than one million readers a year. has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis, including a robo advisory template for use by beginners.


  1. Hi Pattu sir, this is very useful. Idukkum mela enna venum :). Thank you.

  2. very very useful. Great tool. 🙂

  3. Excellent Article. Great analysis and great explanation. Hatsoff !!

    1. Thank you.

  4. thank you for the post. however i don’t understand the ‘ Instructions to log into Value Research’ part .( i do not use the video due to my hearing problem.) Does not the Mutual Fund Screener Version 5.0 work independently and give list of mfs on 2-3 criteria ?

    1. Please follow these instructions. There is no need to login this
      1. go to this link

      2. click ‘make a copy’

      3. Select fund category and screen!

      1. thank you for the link. It gives wholesome data in single sheet.

        1. Thank you. Glad you like it.

  5. Requesting you to kindly make a provision to choose more than 15 funds or say all funds with consistency ranking of 100% in “Shortlist-Category average”

  6. Dear Pattu Sir, One of the ultimate tools in selecting funds. Thanks. For balanced fund comparison, which index we should use in this tool. thanks again

  7. I would like to have some clarity on risk stats available on VR.
    I believe these stats are based on latest quarter/year and not representative of 3/5/10 years performance. A fund might have very good alpha and low standard deviation this year, but the returns previously might be due to excessive risk. So, taking these two into account while selecting a fund seems is somewhat unrelated. Please confirm if this is the case.

    1. They are some kind of weighted average of 3-year and 5-year performance. This 3 and 5Y window is trailing. That is it changes on a daily basis.

  8. What does Rating mean in this google sheet? Does 5 rating mean best among the list?

    1. If you are referring to the screener sheet then it is a ranking and not rating.

  9. Thank you for this easy to understand sheet. Got a question Pattu Sir. Does the data get auto updated on VRO when I download, for ex: If I download the Annual Returns from VRO onto the Mutual Fund Screener on lets say 21st December, is the year CAGR calculated between 21nd Dec 2015 and 20th Dec 2016 or is there a fixed set of dates between which this is calculated and updated?

    1. No it is only the calendar year. If you want trailing returns, you can use Dec 2016: Equity Mutual Fund SIP, Lump sum returns (1-9Y) & capture ratios

Comments are closed.