As the scandal in the mutual-fund industry widens, more companies are slapping redemption fees on their funds. These levies, about 2% of the amount withdrawn, are designed to discourage speculators from short-term trading, or "market timing." Fund shareholders get stuck paying these fees usually if they hold a fund for 90 days or less.
Fund companies Harbor Funds and Tweedy Browne recently added redemption fees to three funds, and Marty Whitman, founder and manager of Third Avenue Funds, says he is considering a similar move. Barry Barbash, a former fund regulator at the Securities & Exchange Commission, expects more firms to follow suit, and he also predicts that the fees may soon be doubled.
Some small-company funds have long charged redemption fees to defray trading costs that are especially onerous for small, illiquid stocks. The fees, which are disclosed in the prospectus, have been used in international funds, too. Of course, many broker-sold funds charge even higher exit fees, but they're a different animal. Those charges, known as "back-end loads," go to brokers, not the fund. If you're flying with golf clubs, you no longer have to pack your golf bag in a hard-shell travel case that weighs a ton. Dallas-based Cargo Golf cargogolf.com) has designed the Pro-Series hybrid travel bag ($165) with a hard cover to protect your sticks. Yet it's light enough to take straight to the course. For golfers who enjoy walking, for $20 more the bag comes with folding legs that prop it up on the course. Dallas has raised the stakes in its cultural rivalry with Fort Worth. The Big D is now home to the $70 million Nasher Sculpture Center (nashersculpture- center.org), displaying more than 300 sculptures collected by real estate developer Raymond Nasher. Modern works by the likes of Rodin, Picasso, and Claes Oldenburg should make Dallas a must-see for more than the Grassy Knoll.