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Investors Strongly Consider Fund Fees and Expenses
When Making Mutual Fund Purchases

Mutual Fund Investors Also Review Historical Performance of the Fund

Washington, DC; August 15, 2018—The vast majority of mutual fund investors review fund fees and expenses when making their fund purchase decision, according to new survey results released today by the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In mid-2017, nine in 10 mutual fund–owning households considered the fees and expenses of a fund, with 40 percent indicating that this information was “very important” when selecting their mutual fund investments.

The survey results, released today in “What US Households Consider When They Select Mutual Funds,” also finds that mutual fund investors consider the historical performance of a fund and a fund’s performance compared with an index when purchasing a mutual fund. In mid-2017, about nine in 10 mutual fund–owning households considered historical performance when selecting mutual funds, with half indicating that historical performance was “very important.” Thirty-five percent of respondents also indicated that a fund’s performance compared with an index was “very important.”

Nine in 10 Mutual Fund–Owning Households Review Fund Performance, Fees, and Expenses
Percentage of mutual fund–owning households, mid-2017

Source: Investment Company Institute Annual Mutual Fund Shareholder Tracking Survey 

“Mutual fund–owning households review many factors when choosing mutual funds to help them achieve their investment objectives, such as the fund’s fees and expenses, the historical performance of the fund, and the risk level of the fund’s investments,” said ICI Senior Director of Retirement and Investor Research Sarah Holden. “By carefully considering these aspects of a fund, they are able to make informed choices and save and invest to meet their future financial goals.”

Mutual Fund Investors Consider Investment Objective, Risks of a Fund’s Investments

In mid-2017, about nine in 10 mutual fund–owning households considered the fund’s investment objective as well as the risk level of a fund’s investments when selecting mutual fund investments. Thirty-six percent of mutual fund–owning households indicated that each of these measures was “very important” in their fund selection decision.

About the Annual Mutual Fund Shareholder Tracking Survey

ICI conducts the Annual Mutual Fund Shareholder Tracking Survey each year to gather information on the demographic and financial characteristics of mutual fund–owning households in the United States. The most recent survey was conducted from May to July 2017 and was based on a telephone sample of 5,000 US households.