The The California Department of Corporations, a business arm of California’s state government, this week joined throng of powerful consumer advocates now lashing out at mutual fund companies for charging investors excessive marketing fees.

The department, which reports to the state’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and directly to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, told Californians that above-average 12b-1 fees can undermine the performances of their mutual funds.

"If the fund has a 12b-1 fee, it must be clearly identified and investors should also closely monitor the 12b-1 fees as they can accumulate and reduce asset growth," the Department said in a public statement.

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