BOSTON - A form of mutual fund style drift is now being examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its review of mutual funds and their performance advertising practices.

SEC examiners are looking for instances of funds having generated exceptional performance by investing outside their investment objective - so-called style drift or style creep - without disclosing that fact to investors, said Gene Gohlke, associate director of the SEC. The SEC is concerned that fund managers may have been tempted to invest outside of their investment objectives in high-flying tech stocks, for example, late last year in an effort to boost performance, Gohlke said. Funds that make such moves should disclose the fact in fund performance advertisements or SEC filings, he said.

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