The 2004 Morningstar Investment Conference kicks off this week as portfolio managers and mutual fund sales personnel head to the Windy City to discuss picking stocks in a tough investing environment and various distribution issues facing the industry in the wake of the scandal.

The obvious topics that will be discussed at this year’s gala will include rising expenses for mutual funds, the inadequacy of fund boards and the inherent conflict that exists between fund owners and investors in the fund management company. While these issues are nothing new in the fund business, they have garnered much more attention in the wake of the trading scandal that unfolded last September.

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