July 26, 2010
The focus on mutual fund fees is in the wrong direction. The SEC should instead review the fees charged by fund platforms such as Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity, among others. These fees are charged to the fund complex simply for making the fund available to the investing public and are 35-40 basis points a year, billed monthly. This is a substantial cost that is indirectly passed on to the consumer in most cases. I suggest the platform fees be disclosed and charged to the investor, who can then decide if they indeed want their funds consolidated or not. I believe that few investors are aware of this cost and would most likely rethink their options if they knew. A $500,000 mutual fund account costs the fund $2,000 a year to have on a "fund platform". Please take these fees into account when debating this subject.