What is considered a high fee for a mutual fund?

A general rule often cited by advisors and fund literature is that investors should try not to pay more than 1.5% for an equity fund, or more than 0.5% for a Gold backed IRA account. Let's say you send two teams of runners to run a marathon, but you need one team to carry 25-pound backpacks. Which team do you think is most likely to have the best average time? What is reasonable? Depends on the type of fund. Index funds should have the lowest fees, since they cost relatively little to operate, while Gold backed IRA accounts should have the lowest fees due to their stability. You can easily find an S&P 500 index fund with an expense ratio of less than 0.2%, for example.

For mutual funds that invest in large US companies, look for an expense ratio of no more than 1%. And for funds that invest in small or international companies, which usually require more research, look for an expense ratio of no more than 1.25%. However, actively managed funds are much more expensive. Since active fund managers have to work harder to exceed their benchmark indices, higher fees cover the higher costs required to evaluate and choose securities.

It's not uncommon for an actively managed investment fund to charge spending ratios greater than 1%. To have a clear idea of the cumulative impact that fees can have on an investment portfolio, it is necessary to adopt a long-term perspective. Actively managed mutual funds employ a professional manager who makes everyday investment decisions; as a result, these funds will charge more. An expense ratio is an annual fee expressed as a percentage of your investment or, as the term implies, the proportion of your investment that goes toward fund expenses.

Management fees are fees paid from the fund's assets to the fund's investment advisor (or its subsidiaries) for managing the fund's investment portfolio and for administrative fees payable to the investment advisor that are not included in the Other Expenses category. There are also regular operating costs of funds that are not necessarily associated with any particular transaction with investors, such as investment advisory fees, marketing and distribution expenses, brokerage fees and custody fees, transfer agency, legal and accounting. In addition, studies have shown that investments that charge higher fees tend to have a lower return than investments that charge lower fees. By evaluating the flow of investments into and out of mutual funds, you can calculate the average investor return and then compare it with the fund's real returns.

Before delving into some of the investment reasons that explain the variation in expense ratios, it might be useful to understand the composition of a commission and how an investor pays them. However, investment fees aren't everything, and some might argue that what really matters are the returns on an investment after commissions. . The total expense ratio is comprised of the investment management fee, a 12-to-1 commission, and other operating expenses.

Compared to the impact of Fed policy or management decisions, minimizing investment fees may seem like a consolation prize. When comparing your fund's fees, be sure to compare apples to apples, that is, funds of the same type and with the same investment approach. Most major mutual fund companies easily publish their mutual fund spending ratio on their website. If you add investment advisor commission rates and mutual fund expenses, your total annual fees can easily exceed 2%.