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23 pages. "Changes in how mutual funds pay intermediaries to sell fund shares have benefited investors but have also raised concerns. Since 1980, mutual funds, under SEC Rule 12b-1, have been allowed to use fund assets to pay for certain marketing expenses. Over time the use of these fees has evolved to provide investors greater flexibility in choosing how to pay for the services of individual financial professionals that advise them on fund purchases. Another increasingly common marketing practice called revenue sharing involves fund investment advisers making additional payments to the broker-dealers that distribute their funds' shares. However, these payments may cause the broker-dealers receiving them to limit the fund choices they offer to investors and conflict with their obligation to recommend the most suitable funds." [GAO-04-317T, published Jan. 27, 2004, released Jan. 27, 2004]
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