Vanguard Group has produced an educational booklet that lets investors assess mutual fund performance.

"Measuring Mutual Fund Performance," a 22-page booklet written in simple English, explains issues such as gauging total return, measuring performance against market benchmarks and peer groups, and assessing the impact of taxes and costs on returns.

It also explains how returns vary by asset class and lays out the relationship between risk and return.

The booklet is the latest of 18 "Plain Talk" booklets published by the Valley Forge, Pa.-based company. They are available by phone or over the Internet.

Vanguard is the nation's second-largest mutual fund firm, with more than $440 billion of assets under management and 12 million clients.

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