New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson
takes a break from muckraking to untangle mutual fund share classes for her readers
After failing to make sense of fund prospectuses, she points potential fund investors Finra's Web site for its "nifty" mutual fund expense analyzer
(Finra was still known as the NASD at this time last year). The tool allows cross-fund and share class expense analysis.
The Finra tool also helps Morgenson come to the realization that no share class is the right one for everyone. She finds that A shares are in many cases more expensive to hold than C shares or the much-maligned B share. Ultimately she finds C shares to be cheapest most, but not all, of the time.
To compare numbers Morgenson looks at a variety of funds, including: Alliance Bernstein International Value
, Davis New York Venture
, Lord Abbett All Value
, Franklin Large Cap Value
and Mb>Columbia Acorn International
The article also digs out some stats that may be of interest to fund marketers. She cites the ICI's stat that 73 percent of sales went into no-load funds in 2006 and that $37 billion of net flows went to load funds. Excluding retirement plan sales, 80 percent of fund buyers went through an advisor or broker.
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