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Alan Palmiter

Chapter 5 attempts to compile an investor profile that describes who mutual fund investors are. It concludes that this portrait of investors, painted by academic and governmental studies, is disturbing. Fund shareholders, who are in charge of making their own investment decisions, are ignorant of important characteristics of the funds in which they invest, inattentive to risks, and insensitive to fund fees. The chapter ends with a “trillion-dollar question”: whether the legal regime charged with protecting fund investors and ensuring the viability of our private retirement system is up to the task.