A Purely American Invention: The U.S. Open-End Mutual Fund Industry targets the needs of three audiences. First, it seeks to help mutual fund industry employees who wish to gain an understanding of both the breadth of fund operations and the context in which they are performed. Many industry members know only a limited subset of mutual fund functions- because they are new to the industry, or because their experience has been limited to a narrow functional area. Business students studying the mutual fund industry form the second target audience. The mutual fund industry has grown in size andimportance to a point where mutual fund operations are taught as a subject in both undergratduate and MBA curricula. This book serves as a text book for such courses, laying out for students what fund companies do, what their management functions and issues are, and how they evolved to their present form. Finally, this book is for the general reader, perhaps him- or herself a mutual fund investor, who seeks to understand more about the industry. Many individuals, when face with an unfamiliar phenomenon, naturally ask the question, "How does this thing work?" This book is intended for those whose curiosity prompts them to ask this question about mutual funds and the U.S. open-end fund industry.