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Monday, March 1, 2010

Bogle's Trading Costs Beef Gains Journal Ink

News summary by MFWire's editors

Jack Bogle routinely attacks the mutual fund industry for the impact of 'hidden' fees not captured in fund expense ratios', fees broadly categorized as trading costs. On Monday in the monthly "Investing in Funds" special section, the Wall Street Journal's Anna Prior takes up Bogle's flag, describing various trading costs (bid-ask spreads, brokerage commissions, market-impact costs and opportunity costs), which average 144 basis points, according to a study co-authored by Richard Evans, assistant professor of finance at the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

The WSJ specifically singles out the trading costs of American Century Income; CGM Focus, Fidelity Advisor Mid Cap; Putnam Voyager Fund. Meanwhile, the Journal praises Brandywine Funds and Selected Funds for at least disclosing brokerage commission costs in terms of percentage of assets.

Those who weighed in for the article include: Evans; Shawn Connor, product manager at American Century Investments; Stephen Horan, head of professional educational content and private wealth at CFA Institutue; Russel Kinnel, Morningstar's director of fund research; Richard Kopcke, an economist from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College; Vin Loporchio, a Fidelity spokesman; Steven Stone, partner and head of the investment-management practice group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Brian Reid, chief economist at the Investment Company Institute (ICI); and Gus Sauter, managing director and chief investment officer at Vanguard. And despite the stance of Vanguard's former chief, Sauter actually warned that mandating the disclosure of trading costs would extremely difficult for smaller and medium-sized fund firms. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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