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Chapter 9. Name That Fund

Given the incentives of the industry to sell shares to investors, one would expect mutual fund companies to broaden their offerings so that they have a fund to meet various investor needs and interests. That is exactly what has happened and why there are now more than 8,000 funds. However, when we count classes of fund shares—that is, the same mutual fund can have various classes of shares—there are more than 13,000 possibilities. This is a problem for investors that we will analyze in the next chapter—sorting out the confusion that can exist over which class of shares to own. The wrong decision can cost you money.

How can you be sure you have bought the correct fund to begin with? Surely the name tells you what you are buying, right? A growth and income fund is going to feature both objectives, a municipal bond fund is going to own tax-exempt bonds, and so forth. In general this is true, but problems exist.


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