NED JOHNSON AND FIDELITY: THE MONEY MACHINE

THE BIGGEST MUTUAL-FUND COMPANY AND ITS QUIET CHAIRMAN, NED JOHNSON, HAVE THE CASH, TECHNOLOGY AND AMBITION TO EXPAND. THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION, GIVEN RECENT SETBACKS AND DEFECTIONS: WILL THE FUNDS PERF

These should be heady times for Fidelity Investments, the mutual-fund giant that manages $450 billion worth of other people's money--very probably including some of yours. The Dow Jones and Standard & Poor's 500 both hit record highs last week, confounding expectations that a serious stock-market correction was at hand. The flow of money into mutual funds this year is torrential, and has already set an annual record. But Fidelity, the biggest fund company of all, known for its arrogance and aggressiveness, is under unprecedented strain. Some of its biggest funds are lagging behind the benchmark S&P index not only this year...

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