Many mutual fund shareholders were pleasantly surprised in April by plentiful embedded losses in their investments. Capital gains paid by mutual funds slumped in 2003 to an estimated $14 billion, the lowest level since 1990, according to a study by the Investment Company Institute. The lengthy bear market also contributed reduced levels of capital gains payments totaling $16 billion in 2002, which dramatically trailed a record $326 billion in 2000.

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