Internet mutual fund assets increased 1,250 percent during the first nine months of 1999 through Sept. 30, bringing the total to $4.3 billion, according to Wiesenberger, a mutual fund tracking service in Rockville, Md. In the same period, assets in all mutual funds rose only 9.03 percent. Wiesenberger released the data last week.

"The phenomenal growth of these funds . . . is the envy of a mutual fund industry that has posted only sluggish expansion in 1999," said Ramy Shaalan, a Wiesenberger analyst, in a teleconference.

Internet funds are continuing to post outstanding returns, Shaalan said. Year-to-date through Oct. 31, Internet mutual funds have averaged gains of 106 percent, whereas the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 35.27 percent, Shaalan said.

There are currently only 12 mutual funds that concentrate on Internet stocks, but 16 more are currently in registration with the SEC, Shaalan said.

Wiesenberger, like Securities Data Publishing, the publisher of this newsletter, is a division of Thomson Financial.

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