February 20, 2004
Concerns with Addition Fee Charges After Purchase
In September of 2002 Prudential Financial instituted a new yearly charge on their accounts called a Basic Securities Account Fee of 50.00.
I feel that this is unfair. When I purchased mutual funds with Prudential in May of 1998 for about 10,000, I was concerned about extra, unknown fees such as 12b-1 fees, and I purchased all A Funds so as to avoid extra and hidden fees. Therefore, I was very disappointed when I saw this fee added so suddenly.
The cost of selling at a time of a low market, makes selling very foolish now. This year my earnings were 141.00 and still I had a 50.00 account charge.
I have a mutual fund with American Funds and a small one with Thrivent. Neither of these charges such a fee.
I am a low income person living on Social Security Disability, a part time job, and in Subsidized Housing. The income I invested came to me in the late 1990s at the death of my mother as my share of inheritance. Most of the inheritance I invested in FDIC investments, but about a third I put into Mutual Funds and a few stocks. My goal with the inheritance money is to either put this into my first home which at my age is becoming less likely or at least to preserve it for my children. It seems that for many of us with low incomes, we are bearing an unfair economic burden.
Fifty dollars to maintain an account is very expensive for me. At times it almost seems as I am paying Prudential to hold my money rather than work at investing it. I can hang in with a low market and expect a portfolio value to reflect market conditions, but how can they justify such a fee when they know it is disadvantageous for us to withdraw funds when such a change is set? I do not know how to withdraw and reinvest without great disadvantage to me.
I trust you will consider my concern.