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A variety of sources provide performance information on mutual funds. Most local newspapers include recent total returns for hundreds, if not thousands, of funds in their daily business sections. For more in-depth fund performance information, check out financial newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. The Journal is also legendary for its day-to-day reporting on issues affecting the markets and economy. Other finance- or business-oriented publications such as Barron's, Money, and BusinessWeek provide informative quarterly updates on mutual fund performance.

Although it can be tempting to keep track of your investments on a daily or monthly basis, paying such close attention to the short-term performance of your funds can cause you to lose sight of your long-term goals. It's all too easy to jump the gun and sell out of a temporarily underperforming fund, only to see it rebound sharply not long after. In a diversified portfolio, some funds will naturally do better than others on a short-term basis. Investment experts generally agree that the key to successful investing is to stay focused on the long-term direction of your portfolio and not be swayed by short-term trends.

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