Apple chief executive Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4...

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. On Aug. 24, 2011, Apple said Jobs is resigning as chief executive, effective immediately. (June 7, 2010) Credit: AP

Steve Jobs leaving the helm of Apple! What's to happen to the company? To the stock? Immediate questions for some. But for the average investor with mostly 401(k) savings, some better queries, perhaps, are: Who are the people managing my mutual funds? What are their comings and goings?

Those managers may not have the celebrity of Jobs, but for an actively managed mutual fund, "the manager is key to the whole investment philosophy," says Ray Mignone, a fee-only financial planner in Little Neck. So know your funds' managers and "keep close tabs on them."

Who they are: Check for company bios and basic information on managers in the prospectus, which should be available on the fund's website. Learn about managers and their performance in the fund sections of sites such as Yahoo Finance and Morningstar.

What to know: If a successful manager is leaving, see where the successor is coming from, as well as the person's longevity and track record there, Mignone says. One red flag, he says: if the person has been an analyst but hasn't actually managed a fund. Less worrisome: The fund has been managed by a team, or a successful manager leaves and turns over the reins to a longtime colleague. (That's why Mignone says he's not worried about Apple: "Jobs has embedded a culture there.")

Keeping up: Schedule a quarterly review of all your holdings and their performances. And make it easy to keep up with news of managers and funds by setting up email alerts on Google or Yahoo Finance.