A proposal by the Securities and Exchange Commission to shorten mutual fund disclosure statements is meeting widespread support, and a new rule could take effect by 2009, if not sooner.

Currently, mutual fund companies are required to send investors a full fund prospectus, which is often 200 pages or longer. While the full prospectus contains valuable information, the sheer enormity is so overwhelming that most investors flip through the first few pages before setting it aside, or simply toss the whole thing in the trash.

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