Timing and patience are the keys to boosting mutual-fund returns according to a new study from Morningstar Inc.

The Chicago investment research firm, which analyzed the returns for all U.S. stock funds with 10-year records, looked at the gap between the funds' official returns - that is, the returns an investor would have made if they had stayed in that fund for the entire period - and the funds' dollar-weighted returns over a 10-year period, a July 13 report from Dow Jones indicates.

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