Shareholders of taxable equity funds are losing almost a quarter of potential returns because of taxes, according to a recent research study.

The news was worse, according to Lipper, for owners of taxable fixed income fund shares, who lost 45% of returns to taxes to the equity holders’ 24%. Even in a year with the second lowest amount of capital gains and dividends since 1995, fund investors paid $6.5 billion in taxes, in what Lipper called a "conservative estimate."

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