401(k) Corral Fight

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

The mushrooming mutual fund scandalhas edged into the relatively staidworld of 401(k) plans. While the majorityof 401(k) participants stashes theirmoney in tax-deferred accounts andleaves it alone, some take advantage ofthe so-called "stale pricing" of mutualfund shares to jump in and out of funds,especially international funds, to make ashort-term profit. Some companies aretaking steps to put an end to the practice.Putnam Investments, already out some$32 billion since the fund scandal broke,has terminated its contract with theBoilermakers Union, Local 5, in NewYork. Some market-timing members ofthe union made more than $4 millionover 3 years, using in-and-out trading inPutnam's international funds, a practicethat put the brokerage firm into hot waterin the first place.