June 24, 2014

Fees REALLY do matter!

My students probably agree that my favorite soapbox is to rant against high investment fees. What you are being charged to invest is the only information you have about the future and it is one variable under your control. Please click on the link below and read about the 5 fees that are killing your retirement. Here is a brief summary but read the convincing details in the linked article by Robert Berger:
1. Advisory fees. "Paying an investment advisor 1 percent or more annually almost guarantees below-market performance. Even the most talented advisors, over the long run, are unable to beat the markets by the cost of their services."
2. Management fees. Mutual fund fees- keep them low with index funds. Despite the advertising, actively managed funds don't beat the indexes over time.
3. Transaction costs. The expense ratio does not include a mutual fund’s cost to buy and sell shares.
4. Commissions. "While fee-only advisors do not earn commissions on the investment products they sell, commissioned brokers do. These fees typically amount to more than 5 percent of the amount invested. Commissions are in addition to the management fees charged by the mutual funds."
5. Unnecessary taxes. "Actively managed funds often generate significant tax liability. While these taxes are of no concern in a tax-advantaged retirement account, they can represent a significant drag on performance in a taxable account." Stick with index funds, especially for your taxable (non-retirement accounts). 

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