Mutual fund investors paid lower fees for equity funds in 2010, based on asset-weighted average ratios, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.

The expense ratios for equity funds fell two basis points from 86 BPS to 84 BPS. The ICI attributed this to the 15% growth in equity mutual fund assets from $4.7 trillion in December 2009 to $5.4 trillion in December 2010.

Meanwhile, the asset-weighted average expense ratio for bond funds remained at 64 basis points.

“While we saw strong growth in the bond market in 2010, those expense ratios stayed flat due to two reasons: investors moved more assets into global bond funds, which tend to have higher expense ratios, and into funds that use a unified fee structure, in which fees are a constant percentage of fund asses,” said ICI Senior Economist Sean Collins. “Given these trends, it’s not surprising to see bond fund expense ratios bucking the typical inverse relationship between asset growth and expenses.”

Money market funds expense ratios fell seven basis points from 33 BPS in 2009 to 25 BPS in 2010. This was due to the sharp increase in the number of funds waiving expenses to ensure that net asset values remained whole, the ICI said. Once short-term interest rates rise, money market fund fees are likely to increase.

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