The average investor uses a ticker symbol to trade a mutual fund. Investment professionals like to make things more precise by using a 9-digit identification number, called a CUSIP. It stands for Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures. The CUSIP system is owned by the American Bankers Association and maintained by Standard and Poor's. The S&P website requires a membership to look up CUSIPs, so we'll explore free online options.
Identify the name of the mutual fund for which you want the CUSIP. If you already have the ticker symbol, that will make the job a lot easier. We'll use Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund as an example. Its ticker symbol is CGAEX.
Visit the mutual fund company's website. A visit to Calvert.com brings up a list of all their mutual funds with the CUSIPs displayed next to the ticker symbol. The CUSIP for Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund Class A is 131618803.
Visit the home page at Fidelity.com, which offers free mutual fund and stock research tools. Type the name of the fund or the ticker symbol in the search box at the top of the page.
Navigate to the page for your target fund. You'll land on a summary page. Click on the blue tab for "Composition." You'll find the CUSIP listed under "Fund Facts."
Items you will need
- Ticker symbol
- Internet access
- Find the ticker symbol for your target fund by searching on the fund company's website, Fidelity.com, or another financial research website. These are provided without a subscription or log in.
- Not all fund companies provide easy access to CUSIP information. You might need to go to a fund summary page or even look inside a prospectus, which are usually available online or as a PDF download.
- CUSIPs from other sources might require a log-in or a subscription. Most individual investors don't need access to the rest of the information which the CUSIP registration aggregates, making the free sources a good alternative.
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images