At the height of the bull market, fund fees were of little consequence to most investors. So shelling out 25 basis points for a fund that was consistently returning 25% a year seemed a small price to pay.

In fact, most investors paid little or no attention to the fees they were paying, but that is changing, industry observers say. As fund performance continues to diminish, investors are becoming much more fee-savvy than in the past. That situation has breathed new life into the 100% no-load fund industry, according to some.

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