March 5, 2004
I like the forms. I think they are necessary. Since the mutual fund industry is very good in bombarding you with fineprint in their prospectus, which no one can really read, it is good to have them disclose upfront. I am stuck in 4 mutual funds which have all kinds of fees, which I am finding out as a surprise.
There is one set of information that you have not included that I think MUST be included. You should have a place to have them disclose the yearly management fee, since that also comes out of the persons investment. Mutual funds are very good in hiding that information or making it look small by using percentages.
Instead they should disclose, based on your investment amount, how much you should expect to pay in managment expense yearly in REAL DOLLARS.
This way as an investor, I can make an informed decision. Also I can make better comparison between 2 funds.
There should be some sort of penalty to the mutual fund company if they decide to change their fee structure on a mutual fund.
Right now it is highway robbery. They come out with a mutual fund with very low fees to get investment. After a year or two they change their rules and start imposing fees. You as a single investor cannot afford to go to their board meetings, so they can rubber stamp any changes. Now that they have your money, they can charge whatever fees they want. True, that you could switch, but how often do you have the time. And if they have a backend fees, then you are stuck.
The whole problem can be resolved by having mutual fund companies pay a hefty penalty to the shareholders if they change their fee structure.