One course open to the defensive investor is to put his money into investment-company shares. Those that are redeemable on demand by the holder, at net asset value, are commonly known as “mutual funds” (or “open-end funds”). Most of these are actively selling additional shares through a corps of salesmen. Those with nonredeemable shares are called “closed-end” companies or funds; the number of their shares remains relatively constant. All of the funds of any importance are registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and are subject to its regulations and controls.*

The industry is a very large one. At the end of 1970 there were 383 funds registered with the SEC, having assets totaling ...

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