was an award-winning photographer who joined LIFE's staff in 1960, after years of success shooting for , United Press International, and other major publications and news agencies. In addition to his masterful sports photography (including Don Larsen pitching a perfect game in the 1956 World Series -- one of the most famous baseball photos of all-time), Rickerby covered "hard news" and historic events for decades. He photographed John and Jackie Kennedy just hours before the president was assassinated in Dallas in 1963; he was aboard the during the Japanese surrender in WWII; he covered the Boston Strangler, Nikita Khrushchev, Jimmy Hoffa, the early years of the United Nations, and on and on and on. He died in Connecticut in 1972. He was 51.
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
By timestaff
March 8, 2014

Of all traditional U.S. mutual funds operating a decade ago, four in 10 shut down before 2014, reports Morningstar.

Why care? Even though you can cash out (or get shares in a fund absorbing the loser), costs rise and performance falls as the end nears, says Daniel Kern, president of investing firm Advisor Partners, who has studied closures.

Here’s how not to get swept away in the failures.

Stopping your losses

Seek high marks. Eight in 10 funds given five stars by Morningstar in 2002 lived to 2012; only 39% of one-star funds did, according to a study Kern co-wrote. Stewardship grades, gauging how shareholders are treated, count too: A and B funds outlast low-ranked ones, says Morningstar’s Laura Lutton.

Don’t think small. Bigger funds aren’t always better, but those that stay small or shrink too much have high failure rates. Be wary of portfolios with assets well under $250 million, says Kern’s collaborator Tim McCarthy, author of The Safe Investor.

Exit early. If you think a fund will close, sell. Funds lose an average of 3.6% in their final 18 months, Vanguard has found. Has your fund already merged into another offering? Be picky, advises San Diego planner Leonard Wright, and sell the new one if you wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

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