Research Handbook on the Regulation of Mutual Funds
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Research Handbook on the Regulation of Mutual Funds

Edited by William A. Birdthistle and John Morley

The growth of mutual funds has been a truly global phenomenon and deserves a broad international analysis. Local political economies and legal regimes have created different regulatory preferences for the oversight of these funds, and academics, public officials, and legal practitioners wishing to understand the global investing environment need an appreciation for these international differences. This Handbook addresses these and several other issues concerning mutual funds. The contributors, leading scholars in the field of investment law from around the world, provide a current legal analysis of funds from a variety of perspectives and using an array of methodologies that consider the large fundamental questions governing the role and regulation of investments funds as well identity and behavior of investors and issues surrounding less orthodox funds, such as money market funds, ETFs, and private funds.
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Chapter 5: Who are mutual fund investors?

Alan Palmiter

Abstract

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.

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