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Rating:September 5, 2000 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, September 05, 2000

September 5, 2000

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Berger to be Rolled into Janus?
From Fund Alarm
Is Berger going to be rolled into Janus? That is the word on FundAlarm this month. The rumor comes off the sites message board so take it with a grain of salt This month the site takes Guardian Park Avenue A to the woodshed It also reports that the Canadian Parliament is considering legislation which would require Canadian investors to pay income tax on each year's unrealized appreciation in U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds and hints that the Canadian mutual fund industry is "somehow behind this bizarre and punitive legislation." The site also expects that Jundt is keeping assets down at its top performing American Eagle Capital Appreciation and American Eagle Twenty funds. FundAlarm points out that neither fund is mentioned on Jundt's or Firstar's Web sites and that they carry an expense ratio of 6.96% The site also picks on The Value Trend Links Fund -- a golf fund which counts Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, Nokia, Ericsson and Network Appliance as its largest holdings. What happened to Callaway?

SEC's Roye on Prososed Fund Regs
From Wall Street Journal
The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly putting the finishing touches on its rules aimed at increasing the independence of fund directors. Paul Roye, director of the SEC's investment management division, told the paper that one part of the rules the SEC will not give up on is requiring independent directors who seek legal advice to hire lawyers without ties to the fund or its management. The rules will likely take effect at this time next year. Roye also commented on the proposed requirement that funds to report after-tax results. Fund companies have criticized the proposal that they use the highest federal income-tax rate in these calculations. Roye told the paper that the SEC is considering this feedback. Finally, Roy said that he expects a commission vote on the "pay-to-play" rules later this year.

EU OKs Euro Fund Mart
From Wall Street Journal
The European Commission has ok'd a fund supermarket proposed by Germany's Commerzbank AG, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Prudential PLC of Britain (no relation to the US Pru) and Zurich Financial Services. The four companies are creating a joint venture named "Cofunds" to distribute funds to European investors. Cofunds is expected to be open to any fund manager will be able to list its mutual funds on the supermarket. The report by the commission said that service will face major competition and that "such online supermarkets are regarded as pro-competitive by the majority of market players in that they add a further distribution channel and increase transparency."

Whatifi.com Launches
From Barron's
Long-awaited Whatifi.com is putting rumors to rest with it launch of its site today. The San Francisco start-up firm lets investors put as little as $100 into a family of five index funds managed by Barclays Global Fund Advisors. The site also offers investment advice. In the site's pre-launch phase (it began in July), 1,700 people registered and 170 have opened accounts.

The Rap on Banks & Funds
From Worldly Investor
Fund manager Paul Merriman explains that although you may buy a fund at a bank you are not buying through the bank. "When you buy a mutual fund at your bank, you're actually doing business with a brokerage company that rents or leases space in the bank lobby. The bank may own part or all of this brokerage company," he explains. He also points out that banks are selling the funds to bring in revenue -- not to provide the best products for their depositors.

Funds Gain in August
From New York Times
The average diversified funds gained 8.34 percent in August compared to a 6.07 percent return in the S&P 500, reported Lipper Inc., a unit of Reuters. The gain accounts for most of fund's returns so far this year. Mid-cap core, growth and value funds led the pack during the month. Technology funds were also hot, rising 15.34 percent, and natural resources funds jumped 12.14 percent, while biotechnology funds gained 11.84 percent. Real estate funds trailed the pack, losing 2.23 percent.

ETF Performance Guide
From TheStreet.com
The number of exchange-traded funds has doubled since the start of the year. TheStreet.com has put together a list of these funds and how they have performed. Unfortunately, it does not include the performance of their underlying index, nor does it show how well they have mirrored that index. Expect investors to start asking these questions as they become more sophisticated.

Pension Bill Under Attack
From CBS.MarketWatch
Congress returned to session today and already the pension reform bill is coming under attack. Ellen Nissenbaum, legislative director for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is quoted as saying that technical revisions in the legislation "pose a real threat to pension coverage for rank-and-file workers." The CBPP and AARP are both questioning adjustments that increase small business owners pension allowances claiming that they may reduce the incentive to cover workers in these companies' plans. They point to subtle changes non-discrimination tests that would reduce pressure to get non-highly compensated employees into plans. In addition the Treasury Department is also opposing the bill.

Savings Pays
From Washington Post
The path to a healthy bank account lies in saving, not dot com day-trading, claims the paper. The article outlines how most Americans can save through a mutual fund or automatic savings plan to build their nest egg.

Company Stock Strategies
From Money Magazine
The magazine revisits the topic of holding employer stock in a 401(k) plan. It also recommends strategies of how to handle this investment and tells the story of a low-level employee at a brokerage firm that ended up with $5 million in company stock after a little more than a decade in the plan.  

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