Mutual fund expense ratios fell overall in 2008, but will that hold true this year? "FundSpy" Russel Kinnel
, director of mutual fund research at Morningstar
fund fees to rise in 2009, despite a drop last year.
"Many funds today are charging more," Kinnel writes. "The reason is easy to see: mutual fund assets (excluding money funds) totaled $5.9 trillion at the end of February 2009, down sharply from $8 billion at the beginning of 2008."
"It's not that fund companies or their boards are moving to raise fees," Kinnel added. "It's that mutual fund management fees have set breakpoints that trigger cuts or hikes as assets in the fund rise or fall."
According to Kinnel's research, the overall "asset-weighted average annual expense ratio" for mutual funds fell from 88 basis points in 2007 to 87 basis points in 2008.
Kinnel recently penned his own Fund Spy
book to help investors select mutual funds (see MFWire, 2/20/2009
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