Regulators have stepped up pressure in recent weeks on mutual fund companies and those who sell funds regarding their costs and disclosure of those costs.

In SEC enforcement actions, new NASD Regulation directives and pronouncements from state securities regulators, government lawyers are making an issue of expenses and the adequacy of expense disclosure. Most recently, on Dec. 10, the SEC issued an opinion in a lawsuit over so-called mutual fund "switching," a practice that generates increased sales commissions for brokers who sell funds. The decision was striking because the SEC disciplined a broker for switching even though his clients did not lose money by following the broker's switching recommendations.

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