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Drop in hidden trading costs is no boon

December 3, 2001

The hidden costs associated with trading stocks have come down over the last year, but that may mean very little to mutual fund investors. The question is whether investment companies can't pursue those savings and pass them along to investors...

One on One: "One active manager can only get out of a stock to the extent that somebody else gets in"

November 19, 2001

George "Gus" Sauter, the head of The Vanguard Group Inc.'s massive stock indexing operation, is anything but passive. As the man who runs a $180 billion spread across 29 index mutual funds - including the country's second-biggest fund, the $77.81...

Pay dictating fund choices

November 19, 2001

Fee-only advisers and independent reps buy mutual funds and advise clients in radically different ways, according to a new study that could have implications for the way mutual fund companies market their wares. "These markets often get lumped...

Vanguard has basket of VIPERs

November 12, 2001

The Vanguard Group's exchange-traded fund, the VIPER, based on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, and potentially the king cobra of ETFs, was killed by a court ruling this month. But like a snake charmer, the company has other VIPERs in...

Weak stock market gives investors second thoughts

November 12, 2001

Thanks to a gut-wrenching year on Wall Street and the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, many non-profit organizations around the country are seeing a dramatic plunge in contributions as they enter the critical holiday season. The drop may threaten...

Investors show ardor for Ginnie Mae

November 5, 2001

Who would have thought that dowdy Ginnie Mae funds would be sexy? How about investors attracted by high returns and top credit quality. They are flocking to them in droves. Net inflows into the funds are heavy, and investors do not appear dismayed...

Lipper to rate funds, but without stargazing

October 22, 2001

Selecting the right mutual fund can be tricky, so Lipper Inc. in New York has released a new mutual fund evaluation system designed to make life easier for financial advisers. The new rating system, called Lipper Leaders, is part of a website...

Conference Call - Note to variable-annuity marketers: Keep it simple

October 15, 2001

The variable-annuities industry has three words of advice for itself: simplify, simplify and simplify. In rising from near-obscurity a decade ago to $910 billion in assets at the end of June, variable annuities have grown significantly more...

Money fund pioneer: Not all changes positive

October 8, 2001

It's something of a bittersweet birthday present. The first money market fund was introduced to investors 30 years ago this month, and thanks to an economy that just won't get off the floor, they're more popular than ever. But a lot about money...

Says it's reacting to client demand, not slowdown

October 8, 2001

Like lawyers, insurance salesmen are the brunt of many a joke. But the joke may be over. As mutual fund companies scramble to become financial services supermarkets, insurance salesmen - or at least the products they sell - are suddenly being...

Funds find pitfalls in reporting after-tax returns

October 1, 2001

Last-minute snags have tripped up mutual funds trying to report their performance based on after-tax returns. Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission reluctantly granted the industry two more months - until Dec. 1 - to comply with the...

Jittery investors still play the index card

October 1, 2001

Until recently, any idiot with a Ouija board could pick a mutual fund that would post double-digit or even triple-digit gains. Now, with the markets falling, investors are less sure of their psychic skills. Predictably, funds that aim to mirror...

Low-profile Vanguard to market to Reader's Digest audience

September 24, 2001

When the going gets tough, the tough start marketing. The Vanguard Group Inc., known for its low-profile approach to promotions, has signed an exclusive marketing deal with The Reader's Digest Association, a publishing and direct marketing company....

Big spreads slow trading in bonds to near standstill

September 24, 2001

The bond market was the first major market in the United States to open after the World Trade Center attack, but doing business has been difficult. Traders say the spread between the price at which people are willing to sell bonds and the price...

Do-it-yourself champion wants to diversify

September 10, 2001

The Motley Fool, which has advocated do-it-yourself investing since its beginnings in 1993, is jumping on the online advice bandwagon. The Alexandria, Va., financial information service last week announced on its website the launch of TMF Money...

Bylaws changed to void need to seek approval

September 10, 2001

Little by little, mutual fund investors are losing control. Since 1998, the trustees who oversee Fidelity Investments' funds have quietly obtained shareholder approval to reorganize or even liquidate 223 of the Boston company's 255 funds without...

Staid fund groups peak through clouds

September 3, 2001

In some cases, a bad economy means good news. A handful of mutual fund groups are experiencing record inflows at a time when new money is tapering off for most groups and growth-oriented shops are experiencing outflows. According to Financial...

Mandatory rollovers into IRAs failing to stir fund managers

August 27, 2001

Some $90 billion to $120 billion is likely to be diverted into individual retirement accounts over the next three years as a result of the new tax cut law. But Putnam Investments of Boston appears to be alone among the major investment companies...

ETFs may be losing pricing edge

August 27, 2001

The "low-cost" crown may be up for grabs - again. While exchange-traded funds are routinely promoted as a low-cost alternative to already cheap index mutual funds, a small - but potentially growing - number of ETFs are being introduced that...

ETFs: Bliss for this Spider-Woman

July 30, 2001

She's called the Spider-Woman, and she spins her web on Wall Street. But Kathleen H. Moriarty conquers securities regulations instead of villains. She is one of the team credited with crafting the legal framework that gave rise to exchange-traded...

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