The Web is on its way to becoming the number one method for direct-selling mutual funds and the number of mutual fund company Websites is proliferating as companies come to comprehend the Web's power, a new study concludes.

The study, McGladrey & Pullen's second annual study of mutual funds and Internet distribution, found that not only do potential shareholders make investment decisions based on Internet services offered, but many investors first learn about fund companies in depth through the Web. That is because the Internet is the primary information gathering tool for many people. While television and other types of advertising may be the best way to establish brand, the Internet is the best medium to provide the breadth of information people want before they invest, said Steve Miyao of McGladrey & Pullen. Its study was made public last week.

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