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News Flash- SEC to Track Fund Flows, Looking for Market Timing

The SEC is going to be paying closer attention to abnormal buying and selling in mutual funds. Cash flow is one area that will get heightened scrutiny.

"If you look at fund flows in and out, you can identify funds that are susceptible to market timing and late trading," Paul Roye, director of the division of investment management at the SEC, told The Wall Street Journal. "That data can help us target firms for inspection."

If the SEC had paid attention to the abnormally high flows at Alliance Capital Management, for instance, it might have caught the market timing going on there. Alliance's technology fund, which was market timed, averaged $1.5 billion in assets in 2002 - but saw $12 billion move in and out of the fund that year, according to Lipper data.

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