Nearly one-third of 960 mutual funds that the SEC surveyed made no attempt to fair value their funds, the SEC revealed this week, according to today’s Wall Street Journal. And more than half conducted fair value computations only five times in the volatile 20 months through September, according to the SEC.

As a result, probably 15% of funds were market timed, costing investors up to 2% in returns, the SEC said. Nonetheless, the art of fair value pricing is an inexact science, and even if funds apply it, they can still arrive at different prices, according to the WSJ. "It’s an issue where people have to struggle with the question of who’s right, or who’s righter," noted Chris Wloszczyna, a spokesman for the ICI.

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