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ICI Issues Guidance On XBRL Taxonomy

Interactive mutual fund disclosure may be a step closer to a reality. The Investment Company Institute issued a draft of taxonomy for eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data tagging, which will be on the ICI's website for public review for 45 days.

The ICI developed an XBRL taxonomy that can be used to "tag" data in the risk/return summary that is included in every mutual fund prospectus. The summary includes the most important and relevant information investors want to know, such as a fund's investment objectives, principal investment strategies, principal risks and fund performance history.

The XBRL tagging allows risk/return summary data to be interactive by allowing investors or their advisers to easily search, retrieve and compare information on hundreds of mutual funds across multiple fund complexes.

After the draft is finalized, and the Securities and Exchange Commission amends its XBRL Voluntary Filer Program rules, mutual funds may elect to utilize the tag set in their SEC filings.

"Widespread use of this new taxonomy will introduce millions of investors and their advisors to the benefits of XBRL for gathering information," said Don Boteler, vice president of operations at ICI, who oversaw the XBRL working group. "To our knowledge, ICI is the only U.S. financial services industry organization actively working to extend XBRL beyond financial statement data. We're proud of our ground-breaking role in providing better information to fund investors."

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