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Regardless of how they perform, most mutual funds continue to generate fees for the fund companies that run them and for the investment advisers who sell them.

As Rob Carrick wrote earlier this week, there's good value in the mutual fund industry, but there's also price gouging. Embedding fees for advisers in mutual funds have helped make Canada one of the most expensive places in the world to buy funds. A full percentage point of the MER for most equity funds goes to the adviser, as does half a point in the typical bond fund fee. And all too often, consumers are being charged these high fees even when not being provided with any advice.

Good returns and strong advice can justify fees, but how to do you tell whether that's what you're getting?

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The accompanying infographic is a new analysis from Rob. It breaks down a sample portfolio of actual funds to see what kind of value they offer. For some, it may serve as an eye-opener.

See the infographic here: The problem with mutual funds

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About the Author
Personal Finance Columnist

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998. Rob's personal finance columns appear in The Globe on Tuesday and Thursday, and his Portfolio Strategy column for investors appears on Saturday. More

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