In a recent critique of mutual fund advertisements, Morningstar said many funds have improved their ads by emphasizing research, expenses and consistency over short-term returns, but there is still additional room for improvement.Previous ads focused too much on short-term performance by listing big gains for various funds, but many customers expected the returns would be repeated. Even with a disclaimer that past performance does not guarantee future results, some investors were disappointed and turned elsewhere.
Morningstar looked at five recent print ads in the Wall Street Journal for Fidelity, Janus, American Century, T. Rowe Price and Vanguard. Some of the ads touted that their high returns were because of research, while other ads cited positive reviews from Morningstar and Kiplinger magazine.
To their credit, most ads had disclaimers listed in fine print, and savvy investors should continue to read the fine print and do their homework before purchasing any mutual fund, Morningstar said.
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