From: David Forlow
I urge you to carefully consider the benefits of 12b-1 fees.
What of the retired widow who contacted me last year about transferring her $50,000 mutual fund A share account from another brokerage firm to me? If there was not a 12b-1 fee paid by her mutual funds how could I possibly accept her account? Another broker and another firm had already collected an upfront sales charge. I would not have been able to accept the account if it were not for the 12b-1 trailer fee. I would not have been able accept the account and set review meetings, provide advice and service her account.
As an alternative to the mutual fund and its 12b-1 fee, I could offer the potential client a fee based account but that would have more than tripled her costs. Additionally, many fee based accounts would require selling existing positions which might trigger capital gains and taxes. My new client might have to pay taxes and pay significantly higher annual fees in order to get the advice and service she desired.
Disclosure is great for all parties involved. However, stripping away 12b-1 fees would hurt many small investors.