So much for the no-load revolution.
will shift from the no-load market into the adviser-sold channel next year, according to a Wednesday announcement. By March 1 each of Invesco's funds will offer Class A, B, C and K shares, each charging fees to pay a commission-based broker or fee-based financial planner for their advice. At that point current shareholders will be able to buy shares of the funds without paying these fees, but new investors won't.
The move is motivated by investors' growing demand for advice and rising sales through advisers. In 1995 no-load funds made up 30% of fund sales, but that fell to 15% last year, with
getting most of that money, according to Boston fund consultancy Financial Research. The firm estimates that direct sales will shrink to 10% of overall fund sales by 2005.
The past year's steep losses have driven many investors to seek advice and made those investing on their own less likely to write a check. At the end of 2000 Invesco was among the 25 biggest mutual fund companies, according to Financial Research. The Denver firm wasn't on the list at the end of September and none of its funds were among the top 20 sellers in the first three quarters of this year.
Invesco, which has more than $30 billion in total assets under management, is just the latest firm to abandon the do-it-yourself set.
funds have shifted into the advice sales channel.
T. Rowe Price
and Janus funds sell both direct to investors and also through financial planners.
Like many traditional no-load firms, Janus reaches traditional brokers by subadvising broker-sold funds offered by American Skandia and Idex. Fidelity has a different fund family, Fidelity Advisor Funds, that is strictly sold through advisers.
Ian McDonald writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He invites you to send your feedback to
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