Thanks to Securities and Exchange Commission initiatives "to encourage advertisements that convey balanced information to prospective investors, particularly with respect to past performance," mutual fund investors are receiving more information in fund ads, the Associated Press reports.
Moreover, those ads are disclosing phone numbers and Web sites that provide updated information on fund performance, and statements about the sometimes non-relation between past and future performance.
During the bull market of the 1990s, fund ads typically posted the drawbacks of investing in fine print, rather than conspicuous slots. At one point, the SEC went after a company, Van Kampen, for lack of disclosure in both disclosure statements and advertisements. Eventually, the company settled the charges for $100,000.
With 90 million Americans now investing in mutual funds, the new regulations seem to be helping to correct those past problems.