The two most important policy differences between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush that could affect mutual fund investment are tax cuts and social security reform. Bush is promising a dramatic tax cut for all tax payers, while Gore is promising a narrower tax cut for middle income earners. Bush is calling for some privatization of social security while Gore is advocating expanding other types of retirement savings plans such as 401(k)s and providing incentives for individuals to invest in these plans by offering government matching funds.

Several fund companies, including American Century Investments of Kansas City, Mo., Franklin Templeton of San Mateo, Calif. and Citigroup of New York, said the outcome of the presidential race would be inconsequential to the industry. Others, including Invesco of Denver, USAA of San Antonio, Texas and Schwab of San Francisco declined to comment. Several companies which declined to comment said they did so to avoid alienating voters.

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