The day that the mutual fund industry eclipses $10 trillion in assets is awfully close, but experts say that exchange-traded funds could delay its arrival.

Between the end of 2000 and the end of 2005, the Investment Company Institute told Investor's Business Daily, the total net assets of all mutual funds swelled from $6.96 trillion to $8.91 trillion. Compounded annually, that's growth of a handsome 5.1%.

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