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WM Advisors Passes $10 Billion Milestone in Assets Under Management

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 2001--For the first time in its 60-year history, WM Advisors, the advisor to WM Group of Funds, recorded assets under management of more than $10 billion.

WM Group of Funds, which is comprised of 22 mutual funds, including five Strategic Asset Management (SAM) portfolios, and 16 variable annuity sub accounts, accounted for $8.5 billion in assets under management on Jan. 31, 2001. An additional $1.5 billion is managed for a large insurance company.

The funds' assets grew significantly during 2000, generally a slow-growth year for mutual fund companies. At WM Group of Funds in 1999, net sales were approximately $300 million, while in 2000, net sales exceeded $1 billion.

WM Advisors' president Bill Papesh attributes the growth to the firm's steady focus on consistency and diversification, and on the popularity of the company's SAM portfolios.

"Our success is based on our ability to consistently stick to the overriding principal of asset allocation as a core investment strategy in constantly changing market conditions. We believe asset allocation and other disciplines are key to investors' long-term success, and we manage our funds according to this belief."

Papesh went on to say that the SAM portfolios, which are in a fund of funds, are the fastest growing sector in the family. As a long-term diversified investment, the SAM portfolios fit the company's objective of encouraging investors to maintain prudent investment strategies through asset allocation.

Papesh notes that the mutual fund industry experienced staggering growth in the past two decades as consumers moved their money to mutual funds seeking higher returns.

"Our customers essentially choose mutual funds because of their ease of record-keeping, professional management, and diversification," Papesh said. "This has fueled our own company's growth and that of the mutual fund industry as a whole."

WM Advisors, Inc. is a subsidiary of Washington Mutual, Inc. With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At December 31, 2000, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $194.72 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,000 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's news releases are available at www.wamu.com.

The WM Group of Funds is a family of mutual funds advised by WM Advisors, Inc. (WMAI), distributed by WM Funds Distributor, Inc. (WMFD), and sold through WM Financial Services, Inc. (WMFS) and other non-affiliated broker/dealers. WMAI, WMFD and WMFS are affiliates of Washington Mutual, Inc. Please see the prospectus for a description of their services and fees.

Editor's Note: Washington Mutual's news releases are available at no charge through the company's News On Demand Plus System. For a menu of Washington Mutual news releases or to retrieve a specific release, call 800/329-6236. On the Internet, news releases may be accessed at http://www.businesswire.com/cnn/wm.shtml.

--30--GP/se*

Contact: Margolin & Associates
Lisa Margolin-Feher, 858/350-1555
lisamargolin@home.com