In eight out of nine investment styles, lower-expense mutual funds beat out more expensive brethren over one-, three-, five-, and 10-year periods, according to a new study from Standard & Poor’s. The only style category where most costly funds won out was mid-cap blend.

"Investors need to pay closer attention to expenses, especially in a market environment where returns are expected to be in the single digits. It is in this type of setting that expenses can take a larger proportion of a fund’s return," said Phil Edwards, managing director of funds research at S&P.

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