The SEC's performance advertising case against Van Kampen Investment Advisory Corp. of Oakbrook, Ill. - a case in which the SEC sued a fund adviser for fraud for using accurate but allegedly incomplete performance data - surprised mutual fund lawyers and left them unsure what funds must tell the public when disclosing their funds' past performances.

In light of the Van Kampen case, the standard warning that past performance is no guarantee of future returns will not be sufficient for some funds, lawyers said in recent interviews. Nevertheless, the Van Kampen case, SEC officials' pronouncements and federal securities regulations do not make clear what disclosure is sufficient when funds enjoy outstanding investment performance based on a few key investments, lawyers said.

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