Interval funds - hybrids between open end and closed end funds - are gaining popularity in the mutual fund industry because of the special benefits interval funds offer, according to Lipper of Summit, N.J. The number of interval funds available has skyrocketed from a lone interval fund in 1992 to a record 33 interval funds as of year-end 1999, according to Lipper. Sixteen interval funds were introduced in 1999. At the end of November, interval funds had more than $28 billion under management, according to Lipper. That is up seven-fold from $4 billion at the end of 1992.
Of those funds introduced in 1999, most were bank loan funds. But, there were also two Merrill Lynch municipal bond funds and the Seligman New Technologies Fund, both introduced in July.