January 9, 2004

The Editors
The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, New York 10281

Dear Editors:

Laura Johannes and John Hechinger (“Why a Brokerage Giant Pushes Some Mediocre Funds,” Jan. 9, 2004) ask an important question: shouldn’t potential mutual fund investors know if someone advising them to invest in a particular fund has a distinct financial incentive for doing so? The mutual fund industry thinks investors should know, and has called for stronger regulations in this area for nine years. In fact, since 1997 the Investment Company Institute has urged regulators to require clear written disclosure of such incentives to investors at the point of sale: the time when they are making their investment decisions.

During a period when government officials and fund industry leaders are quite rightly focused on new proposals to help protect mutual fund investors, we would do well to revive an old one.


Matthew P. Fink