Tax-efficient mutual fund portfolios have become a hot topic, especially since 2000, when many investors suffered the paradox of tax hits from plunging funds. Even so, tax-managed funds have not grown in either number or assets. So the question remains: what value does tax-management really deliver to investors?

The Securities and Exchange Commission's rule on after-tax disclosure has established a consistent set of criteria for reporting and comparing after-tax performance, paving the way for both marketing efforts and further scrutiny by investors.

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