Today's Mutual Fund Industry
  1. Overview Of The Mutual Fund Industry
  2. History Of The Mutual Fund
  3. How A Mutual Fund Works
  4. Today's Mutual Fund Industry
  5. Fund Investment Qualities
  6. Fund Investment Quality Scorecard (FIQS)

Today's Mutual Fund Industry

By Richard Loth (Contact | Biography)

According to the 2005 Investment Company Institute Fact Book, nearly 600 financial intermediaries in the U.S. and around the world compete in the U.S. mutual fund market. It is estimated that, as of year-end 2004, the top 25 of these firms held 74% of this market's $8.2 trillion total assets under management.

The 8,000 plus publicly traded mutual funds in the U. S. break down by type as follows:

It is a huge understatement to say that for the investing public, this number of fund choices is absolutely overwhelming.

It is important for fund investors to appreciate the importance of investing in funds that are sponsored by financial intermediaries in good standing. That is to say, that they are not saddled with regulatory problems resulting from questionable management practices and governance problems. The serious mutual fund scandals of 2002 and 2003 are, hopefully, behind us. However, it is prudent for fund investors to maintain a watchful eye in this area.

Investors should start by screening for those fund sponsors that are scandal-free and that do a good job of aligning their interests with those of their fund shareholders. Professionals in the mutual fund industry refer to this as good stewardship. The most accessible source of stewardship grades is a Morningstar Fund Report. Morningstar's grading of fund sponsor stewardship has become an important part of its evaluative reporting on the mutual fund industry. (For more insight, see Morningstar's Stewardship Grade Service A Welcome Addition.)

It is natural that opinions will differ on fund-sponsor quality. However, it is worthwhile to note that there appears to be a connection between high quality fiduciary management at the fund sponsor level and high quality investment performance at the individual fund level. (For related reading, see Picking The Right Mutual Fund.)

Return to the Main Menu.
Fund Investment Qualities

  1. Overview Of The Mutual Fund Industry
  2. History Of The Mutual Fund
  3. How A Mutual Fund Works
  4. Today's Mutual Fund Industry
  5. Fund Investment Qualities
  6. Fund Investment Quality Scorecard (FIQS)
  1. Qualitative Analysis

    Securities analysis that uses subjective judgment based on nonquantifiable ...
  2. Alpha

    Alpha is used in finance to represent two things: 1. a measure ...
  3. Profit and Loss Statement (P&L)

    A financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs and ...
  4. Liquidity

    The degree to which an asset or security can be quickly bought ...
  5. Equity

    Equity is the value of an asset less the value of all liabilities ...
  6. Profit Margin

    Profit margin is part of a category of profitability ratios calculated ...
  1. Why have mutual funds become so popular?

    Mutual funds have become an incredibly popular option for a wide variety of investors. This is primarily due to the automatic ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do mutual funds pay dividends?

    Depending on the specific assets in its portfolio, a mutual fund may generate income for shareholders in the form of capital ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can working capital be too high?

    A company's working capital ratio can be too high in the sense that an excessively high ratio is generally considered an ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the risks of annuities in a recession?

    Annuities come in several forms, the two most common being fixed annuities and variable annuities. During a recession, variable ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do financial advisors get paid by mutual funds?

    Financial advisors are reimbursed by mutual funds in exchange for the investment and financial advice they provide. A financial ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!