Thumbs Down: Real Fund Scandal

Physician's Money Digest, January15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 1

Wall StreetJournal

Tip:

No one is defending the shadymaneuvers that some mutualfund firms have involved themselvesin, but in terms of the cost to the averagefund shareholder, some expertsnote that the amount that investorshave lost because of late trading andmarket timing is small potatoes comparedwith the robber-baron fees thatsome funds charge for their services.Estimates of investor lossesbecause of unethical transactionsrange up to $5 billion, a fraction ofthe estimated $34 billion in fees thatinvestors are forking over to fundmanagers in exchange for, in manycases, second-rate stock-picking proficiency. Add sales loads and commissionsand the funds' take gets evenbigger. According to the , the average fund charges a1.36% annual management fee. Look for low-cost, no-load fundswith bare-bones expense ratios.