Mutual Fund Fees May Rise in 2009

Annual expenses could increase by as much as 0.1 percentage points.

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A heads-up for mutual-fund investors:

InvestmentNews is reporting that the annual fees of mutual funds will likely increase in 2009, by an average of 0.05 to 0.10 percentage points for stock funds. That's according to a Lipper analyst.

Expense ratios are often tied to a fund's assets, which means funds with greater assets generally charge lower fees. A deluge of investors have bailed out of funds this year, which have caused assets to fall.

Morningstar's director of research, Russ Kinnel, thinks international funds will see the biggest fee hikes, since they've suffered steeper losses than stateside funds this year. Currency losses will also have an impact.

Bond funds should only see slight fee increases of 0.01 to 0.02 percentage points, according to Lipper.