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Fund Spy

When Up Is a Downer

A look at six funds whose expenses have increased.

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A rising market doesn't mean more assets and correspondingly lower fees for all mutual funds. Let's take a closer look at several funds whose price tags are rising at a time when they don't need any further headwinds.

 American Funds Growth Fund of America (AGTHX)
Even the biggest actively managed equity fund in the United States can be buffeted by cash flows. This large-growth fund enjoyed a strong run of relative performance from the 2000–02 bear market until late in the mid-2000s equity rally, and its asset base peaked at roughly $200 billion. Returns have since cooled--its trailing three- and five-year returns are mediocre--and investors have pulled out a net $80 billion over the past three years through July 2013. As a result, assets are down to a still-massive $126 billion. The expense ratio for the fund's A shares increased to 0.71% in 2013 from 0.62% in 2008, although that share class still earns a Morningstar Fee Level of Low.

Greg Carlson does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.