In a page 1 story in last week’s InvestmentNews, a lawyer referred to regulators’ “obsession with fees.” Of course, one could turn the tables and suggest that financial advisers, not just regulators, are obsessed with fees. Don’t think so? Consider some of the different types of fees the industry charges: commissions, markups, sales loads, surrender charges, investment advisory fees, expense ratios, variable annuity fees and 401(k) fees.
As the Securities and Exchange Commission noted in an investor bulletin last year, fees are important because they can significantly reduce investment returns over time. The SEC urged investors to compare fees when choosing a financial adviser.
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