The following restrictions apply to mutual fund companies:
- A mutual fund company may not purchase securities on margin.
- A mutual fund company may not own a joint account that trades securities.
- A mutual fund company may not effect a short sale of any security.
- A mutual fund company may not purchase more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of another investment company.
Section 12b-1 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 allows the mutual fund company to pay the principal underwriter for the costs of sales literature, promotional items and other selling expenses by collecting 12b-1 fees. These fees are charged to fund's shares and are permissible if the following conditions are met:
- Payments to the principal underwriter are made according to a written plan that outlines the proposed financing and distribution agreement
- The majority of shareholders and majority of non affiliated directors initially approves and continues to annually approve the plan
- The board of directors reviews the payments under the plan at least quarterly
- The plan and its related agreements may be terminated without penalty at any time with 60 days written notice
An investment company must abide by certain shareholder rights. The following activities are prohibited unless approved by a majority shareholder vote:
- A mutual fund company may not borrow money, make loans, buy or sell real estate, or underwrite securities issued by other companies.
- A mutual fund company may not change its investment objectives.
- A mutual fund company may not change the nature of its business and cease acting as an investment company.
- A mutual fund company cannot change from a diversified form to an undiversified one.
Shareholders must also receive certain semiannual financial reports, including the following:
- A balance sheet and a statement of the fund's total investment value
- An income statement for the period covered
- A list of the securities' amounts and values on the date the balance sheet was issued
- A statement of the salaries and other monies paid to the directors, advisory board and officers
- Total dollar amounts of securities purchases and sales
Insider Trading and Securities Fraud Enforcement Act of 1988
Financial AdvisorLearn how mutual funds work, why they are so popular and how younger investors can get started by putting mutual funds in their IRAs or 401(k)s.
Financial AdvisorRead about the many different kinds of fees and sales charges mutual fund companies can use to generate revenue from those who invest in their shares.
InvestingMake sure to review this guide on the dos and don'ts of mutual fund trading before you invest, including how trades are executed and which fees to look out for.
Financial AdvisorMore than 80 million people, or half of the households in America, invest in mutual funds. No matter what type of investor you are, there is bound to be a mutual fund that fits your style.
InvestingLearn about the basics of trading and investing in mutual funds. Understand how the fees charged by mutual funds can impact the performance of an investment.
InvestingThese funds let you cut out the middleman - and the fees.
InvestingLearn about the advantages of investing in mutual funds rather than individual stocks, including the benefits of affordability, oversight and diversification.
InvestingLearn how to buy mutual funds online; discover which websites offer mutual fund trading services, how to choose a fund and typical fees.
InvestingThis investment is very popular, but that doesn't mean it comes without risk.
TradingHow much a fund charges for its services is the most important indicator of how well it will perform.