Investors Rely Little on Fund Prospectus

May 18, 2006 ( - Investors focus primarily on fees, historical performance and risk when purchasing funds, according to a survey from the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

According to an ICI statement, the information investors find most important are fees (74%), historical performance (69%), and risk (61%), followed by performance relative to an index (55%), and sales charge (52%).

The survey also found that recent fund investors rely very little on prospectuses or shareholder reports, ICI said.   Few investors reviewed information about a fund’s portfolio manager (25%), proxy voting policies (15%) or board of directors (15%).

Nearly three-quarters of investors surveyed rely upon professional financial advisors in purchasing funds.Fund investors are increasingly turning to the Internet as a source of information. About half of investors go online at least once a day and report that their use of the internet has increased over the last 12 months. Additionally, nearly nine in 10 believe that obtaining information online is the wave of the future and 84% say that online investment information is up to date.

Nearly nine in 10 investors surveyed also expressed a preference for receiving mutual fund information in a summary format containing precise descriptions and for documents that use charts and graphs over narrative descriptions of investments.

The complete report on the study is here .