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Help wanted: To comply with new Securities & Exchange Commission rules mandating that 75% of mutual-fund directors or trustees be independent, funds may soon need to hire a slew of directors. In fact, Irving Straus, a New York fund consultant, figures at least half of the 7,000 funds will need to do so. Those projections, however, might be overstated, since at many fund complexes one board oversees multiple portfolios. Some funds are expected to simply drop directors with ties to the management company to increase the independent-to-insider ratio.
Even so, many fund boards will need help. Do you qualify? Christopher Traulsen, a Morningstar analyst, says directors should understand financial statements and how the fund industry operates. More important, says Traulsen, "they should be able to stand up for fund shareholders and take a stand against a fund's adviser."
Annual pay for independent directors can range from $5,000 at a small fund company to $100,000 at some of the larger complexes. It's a nice gig, considering that at many funds, directors meet just four times a year. Missing commas and run-on sentences may not be a bad thing for teenagers engaged in writing-intensive online activity, says Purdue University English professor Samantha Blackmon. "I want to see teenagers writing more, and if that means they break a few grammar rules, that's O.K.," says Blackmon, who believes grammar is easier to teach than a love of writing to students who blog, e-mail, and instant message. When the weather gets torrid, the Italians -- who know a thing or two about good living -- enjoy an icy shock of refreshment from a distinctive lemon-infused liqueur. Now, Italy's most popular brand, Limonc? Limoncello, has become widely available here.
The liqueur, from the maker of Stock brandies and vermouths, should be kept in the freezer for serving after dinner or as a palate-cleanser between courses. It's usually sipped straight in Italy, but you can also crown it with tonic or champagne. It runs about $19 for a one-liter bottle, and $15.50 for a 750-ml bottle.