4 Investing Fees That Eat Into Your Returns

You can avoid some fees -- and keep others under control -- by investing in the right funds and picking the right broker.

Niggling fund charges called 12b-1 fees are really loads in disguise. They are taken out of funds’ asset values each year to pay the person who sold the fund (or to compensate discount brokers that offer the fund without transaction charges). But the fees are usually only 0.25 to 0.75 percentage point per year, so many investors pay little attention. Reforms promised by the Securities and Exchange Commission have yet to materialize.

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