The Great Mutual-Fund Disappearing Act

The firms that own them are making hundreds of funds vanish. Here's what to do if they've got your money

Now you see it. Now you don't. That has been the story for more and more mutual-fund investors as fund companies have ushered more than 1,100 funds out of existence over the past two years, either by shutting them down and sending whatever money is left back to investors or by merging the assets into other funds. Remember Scudder Growth Opportunity? It has been liquidated. How about Federated Aggressive Growth and Stein Roe International? They have been merged into Federated Kaufmann and Columbia International Stock, respectively. Still to come: the probable disappearance of $1.3 billion worth of growth and international funds...

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