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Special Report

Naughty and Nice: Good and Bad Fund Company Move

There was lots of naughtiness in the mutual fund world in 1997. For example, we could have nominated every fund company that has single-state muni funds for states that lack state income taxes. (Such funds offer little or no advantage for their target audience over a national muni offering.) But most of the naughtiness had to do with fees and expenses--very few fund companies feel compelled to contain costs. And most investors, having enjoyed a third consecutive year of double-digit stock market returns, aren't pressuring them to do so. Still, we found a few examples in which fund companies made nice moves when it came to fees and disclosure to shareholders.