As the mutual fund industry continues to battle back from the scandal, popular sentiment is that investor confidence is rising. But don't count former Business Week writer Gary Weiss among the faithful and don't even get him started about hedge funds.

A recent review by The Philadelphia Inquirer of Weiss' new book, "Wall Street Versus America: The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty That Imperil Your Portfolio," reveals a "scathing examination" of the fund industry.

"Mutual funds dare to be average. In fact, they dare to be lousy," Weiss writes in what The Inquirer calls one of the book's "kinder, gentler" passages.

But it isn't groundless rhetoric. Weiss bases his assertion on plenty of data, such as how badly mutual funds have underperformed the market since 1970 and how index funds are the wiser choice.

He considers investing in a mutual fund a dumb move and one where the investor simply pays some else to "do a lousy" job of managing their money.

He concedes, "Hey it's your money. There are a lot of worse things you can do with all your bucks than giving them to even a mediocre mutual fund - such as, for example, giving them to a mediocre hedge fund," Weiss said. "If supporting the lifestyle of a mediocre fund manager is your favorite charity, who am I to stop you?"

Weiss claims the only thing that hedge funds are good for are charging ridiculous fees.

Surprisingly, Weiss' assault on the money management industry funds doesn't include a call for stricter regulation.

Instead he recommends that investors better educate themselves to avoid being misled by Wall Street and to pressure lawmakers into passing legislation that would force the industry to clean itself up.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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