Why the fee?
All funds carry a fee, it’s know as an MER (Management Expense Ratio). The MER includes the management fee plus the fund’s day-to-day operating expenses, employee salaries, office space, office equipment, record keeping, fund valuation costs, audit and legal fees, and costs for sending out prospectuses and annual reports to you.
How much is the fee?
The fees can range from less than 1% to more than 3%.
Is the fee hidden?
Typically this has been a hidden fee. For example if your fund has a 2% fee and your end-of-year statement shows your investments earned 3%, in reality your investments earned 5% but the 2% fee was deducted automatically from the top. Even worse if your portfolio did not lose any money (earned 0%) your end-of-year statement will show a lose of -2% because the MER was deducted from your portfolio. The MER fee is deducted whether or not your portfolio makes money or loses money.
How much you end up paying
In the beginning the fees may seem small and inconsequential, however over time the fees do added up. Let’s take a look at the following scenario:
- you have $300,000 invested (could be in your 401(k)/IRA/RRSP/TFSA)
- you regularly save and invest another $100 every month
After 45 years here is how much you end up paying in fees:
- $3,026,856.74 if the MER is 2.5%
- $1,210,742.69 if the MER is 1.0%
- $605,371.35 if the MER is 0.5%
- $96,859.42 if the MER is 0.08%
Wouldn’t you like to save the $96K or $3M for yourself?
Is it less expensive to invest on my own?
Yes, a $300,000 stock portfolio over 45 years would cost you:
- $199.80 if you invested in 20 stocks
- $299.70 if you invested in 30 stocks
- $399.60 if you invested in 40 stocks
- $499.50 if you invested in 50 stocks
How to save on the fees?
Don’t invest in mutual funds, index funds, or ETFs, instead invest in individual stocks. But not just any stocks, only invest in quality stocks when they are undervalued (priced low). How do you find quality stocks? Just apply the 12 Rules of Simply Investing.
But I have questions and concerns about investing by myself
I understand you’ll have questions about investing on your own versus buying a mutual/index fund, let’s get to your questions right now:
1. Isn’t it safer to buy mutual/index/ETF funds?
No it is not safer. Funds take your money and buy stocks with it. You can invest directly in stocks by yourself. At the end of the day with either option you are owning stocks. When you invest by yourself you only invest in companies that pass the 12 Rules of Simply Investing
, with funds you an inadvertently buying stocks are are overvalued, have high debt, are not recession proof, are not profitable, and don’t pay dividends.
2. I’m too scared, I don’t know what stocks to buy.
The Simply Investing Course
teaches you step-by-step how to select quality stocks. If you have no time for the Course, the Simply Investing Report
applies the 12 Rules of Simply Investing to over 245 stocks each month for you. Simply Investing helps you build a resilient portfolio that provides you with growing passive income.
3. Isn’t investing complicated?
No it is not complicated. Both my kids started investing at the age of 9. My goal is to make investing as simple as possible, I teach in plain English with no jargon. You do not need a degree in finance or accounting in order to be a successful investor.
4. But mutual/index funds give me greater diversification.
Yes, you will get greater diversification, some funds hold over 4000 stocks. But with so many stocks you can virtually guarantee that some stocks will be overvalued, have high debt, are not recession proof, are not profitable, and don’t pay dividends. I’ve written about the risk of over diversification here.
5. Isn’t investing time consuming?
No, you do not need to spend hours and hours researching which stocks to buy. The Simply Investing Course comes with a simple checklist that you can use to find quality undervalued stocks. If you don’t have time to fill out the checklist, the Simply Investing Report is an even faster way to get started. Remember you don’t need to spend time every week or every month, you only fill out the checklist when you are ready to invest, for most people its about 2-4 times a year.