Investors are preoccupied with sales fees, when they should really be looking at funds' operating expenses - the net result of which has been the mutual fund industry's preoccupation with no-load funds. That's the conclusion of a report by a team from the University of Michigan and the University of California at the Berkeley and Davis campuses.

"Purchase decisions of mutual fund investors are influenced by attention-grabbing information," said Lu Zheng, assistant professor of finance at the University of Michigan business school.

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