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Investment fee disclosure tool: Find out if you're paying too much

A fast-growing trend in the investment business is to charge clients a percentage of their account assets as a fee for advice.

Advisers may be forthcoming about the fees they themselves charge when talking to clients and prospective clients. But it's near impossible to compare fees from firm to firm in order to benchmark your personal cost of advice.

We aim to fix that with the Globe and Mail investment fee disclosure tool. Complete our short questionnaire, submit your results and find out where your cost of advice compares to other investors who used our tool.


1.   Please provide the fee for advice. The cost of owning investment products such as exchange-traded funds or mutual funds is extra.

2.   Some investment advice fees may be tax-deductible. We're working with pre-tax fees here.

How do you pay your adviser?


What is the size of your portfolio?

  • < $250k
  • $250k-$500k
  • $500-$1M
  • $1M-$2M
  • > $2M

What services do you pay for?

  • Managing my investments
  • Investments and financial planning

How satisfied are you with your current fee?

  • Looking elsewhere
  • Unhappy
  • Somewhat happy
  • Very happy

Two other ways to pay for investment advice


If You Own Mutual funds:

Many fund companies pay advisers out of fees they charge on their funds

Type Amount
Equity funds 1 per cent of assets
Bond funds 0.5 per cent of assets

There isn't a lot of variation on trailing commissions, which is the industry term for commissions paid to advisers out of fees charged on mutual funds. These fees are taken off the top of fund returns; the net returns are what investors see.


If you pay commissions to trade stocks:

In a transaction-based account, you pay a fee to your adviser and his or her firm to buy or sell stocks.

Commissions for trading of stocks and other securities vary according to account size and other factors.

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