Mutual fund executives are predicting important changes for their industry in coming years.Executives from 10 mutual fund companies who answered a survey said issues such as consolidation among fund companies, growth of on-line investing, and a shift in how investors allocate assets will be key factors. Because of the bull market's stamina, mutual fund investors are accumulating assets rapidly and have become more knowledgeable and risk-tolerant, the study concluded.

The wide-ranging survey by San Francisco based Charles Schwab Corp.'s OneSource program, which offers 1,650 funds on-line, was done in December. Other key findings included a trend toward less diversification and more emphasis on performance, a heavy focus on large-cap growth holdings, a shift toward tax-deferred investing, and increased interest in global products.

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