Investment: Mutual Troubles

By buying mutual funds, 3,500,000 Americans have spread their investments over scores of stocks—and the average customer has seen his initial stake grow more than 100% in the past decade. Last week, after eight years of probing and parrying, the Securities and Exchange Commission declared that the funds charge too much for too little. While concluding that the funds are "a sound and useful investment medium," the SEC advocated tough new laws to control them. In doing so, Chairman Manuel F. Cohen's activist commission bid to expand its own power, and set off what will surely be a bruising battle...

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