When evaluating how a fund performs on a annual basis when x fund says it's performance was 10.8 percent is that after what the fund's annual expense ratio is? You need to read the footnotes very closely. Another very signficant item is tax efficiency, which rarely finds it's way into even the fine print. Funds with high distributions, which are taxable in the current year, include the full amount of the distributions in calculations of fund performance. On the other hand, a signficant percentage of fund distributions go out the door to Uncle Sam after they reach your personal account.
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