March 17, 2004
I have been a mutual fund investor for 30 years, and have found mutual funds to be the idea vehicle for an individual investor to build a sensible, diversified portfolio. By reading a continuous stream of articles and books about investing, mutual funds, retirement planning, etc., I have learned over the years to be very careful in my selection process, paying attention to fund costs and expense ratios as well as size, objective, style and past return history compared to benchmarks and similar funds.
In talking with my friends and with customers who visit the bank where I now work, my wife and I retired as corporate lawyers four years ago, I am amazed at how little most people know about their investments and their investment advisors. Most people choose funds based only on past performance or on blind reliance on brokers/advisors. I dont expect that greater disclosure of fees, costs and holdings will matter to all investors, but I believe it will make a significant difference to those of us that do our own research as well as to the majority of investors who base their decisions only on marketing brochures and other industry sales pitches.