Simple, Low-Cost Investing Could Mean Higher Returns



    ING DIRECT announces new low-cost, index-based 'Streetwise Fund' and
    becomes the first mutual fund dealer in Canada to offer paperless
    application to its clients

    TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - ING DIRECT is once again challenging the high
fees Canadians pay for investing and bringing diversification at a low cost to
the masses with the launch of a new index-based mutual fund called the
Streetwise Fund. The Streetwise Fund is a diversified balanced fund which
incorporates several indexes in its investment strategy.
    In keeping with the company's approach of offering simple and straight
forward financial products designed to save money, the Streetwise Fund offers
a balance of equities and bonds across four key indexes in one low-cost fund.
The Streetwise Fund's Management Expense Ratio (MER) is 1%, approximately 1.6%
lower than most other balanced funds available today that average MERs of
2.6%. The Streetwise Fund is exclusively offered by ING Direct Funds Limited,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of ING Bank of Canada.
    "ING DIRECT is excited to offer a simple, low-cost alternative for
investors frustrated with the high fees associated mutual funds," said Jeroen
Smakman, VP Mutual Funds, ING DIRECT. "Canadians pay the highest fund fees in
the world - up to 2.6% or more for the expertise of fund managers, yet history
has shown that most active fund managers cannot beat the index. The Streetwise
Fund uses an index-based investment strategy to help consumers save their
money by buying the whole market at a low cost of 1%. On a $10,000 investment,
this equates to a savings of about $1,600 in fees alone over 10 years. Lower
fees mean more money stays invested to compound and grow, giving investors the
potential to earn much more over time."
    Johanne Brossard, CEO, ING DIRECT said, "The Streetwise Fund is another
example of how ING DIRECT is helping to move the financial industry forward,
challenging the status quo much like we did for clients with branchless
banking more than a decade ago."
    The Streetwise Fund tracks the following indexes: S&P/TSX 60 - Canadian
Equities, S&P 500 - US Equities, DEX- Canadian Bonds and MSCI EAFE -
International Equities.
    For current ING DIRECT clients looking to simplify their mutual fund
transactions and do their part to save the planet, the Streetwise Fund
application process and initial transaction are paperless, an industry first
for a mutual fund dealer in Canada.

    The One-Fund Solution

    Designed to be the only fund investors need, the Streetwise Balanced Fund
has a fixed asset allocation with 60% stocks and 40% bonds. For investors who
are looking for more income the Streetwise Balanced Income Fund has an
allocation with 30% stocks and 70% bonds, and the Streetwise Balanced Growth
Fund has an allocation of 75% stocks and 25% bonds.
    Similar to ING DIRECT's high-interest, no minimum Investment Savings
Account, clients don't need a lot of money to get started. Automatic, regular
contributions to the Streetwise Fund provide a simple way for clients to
benefit from dollar-cost averaging. The commitment to invest a fixed amount of
money regularly helps to decrease the overall cost of investing over time.
This strategy also helps to reduce the risk of investing a large amount in a
single investment at the wrong time. Although most funds allow clients to take
advantage of dollar-cost averaging, it is difficult to find funds that offer
this, plus broad diversification and low MERs in one package.

    
    Secrets of Index Funds Revealed

    -   Most managed funds don't beat the index. Market history has proven
        that most active fund managers cannot do any better than the market
        and data shows that as many as 80% of managed funds don't beat the
        index.
    -   On average, investors pay a MER of about 2.6% for actively-managed
        balanced funds. Buying index funds can result in savings of 1-2% over
        typically managed funds.
    -   Many of the world's most sophisticated investors support the idea
        that index funds should make up the core of an investor's mutual fund
        portfolio.
    -   Diversification is one of the principal rules of investing. Spreading
        your investment dollars across different markets helps reduce the
        risk associated with specific stocks or sectors. An index-based
        balanced fund gives you exposure to the whole market with your
        returns tracking those of the indexes.
    

    Visit www.streetwisefund.ca for more information.

    About ING DIRECT

    ING DIRECT is Canada's largest direct bank with over 1.5 million
customers and more than $23 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT offers
high-value, simple products that help Canadians save their money through high
interest rates on deposits with no fees or service charges, low rates on
mortgages and low-cost, index-based mutual funds. Clients can bank with ING
DIRECT 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800
ING DIRECT.
    Mutual funds are offered by ING Direct Funds Limited, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of ING Bank of Canada. ING Direct Funds Limited offers mutual funds
across Canada except in Quebec and the Territories. ING Direct Asset
Management Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ING Bank of Canada is the
manager of The Streetwise Funds.
    Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees, and expenses all may
be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before
investing. Mutual Funds are not guaranteed or covered by the Canada Deposit
Insurance Corporation or any other government deposit insurer. Their values
change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

    Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never
    referred to as ING.





For further information:

For further information: Lisa Naccarato, ING DIRECT, Office: (416)
758-5072, Mobile: (416) 885-0348, lnaccarato@ingdirect.ca; Christopher
Holcroft, Media Profile, Office: (416) 504-8464 x262, Mobile: (416) 277-0450,
christopher@mediaprofile.com


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