April 15, 2016

FEES! FEES! FEES! ~ Are brokers worth the fees they charge?

Are brokers worth the fees they charge? Ask any investor this question and you likely receive one of the three very short responses: No, maybe, or yes. I will be the first to admit that I have asked myself this question on multiple occasions. Recently I was reviewing a prospective client’s investment account  and asked, “Why is she even paying this person?” A little secret, known only in the investment community, is that many “investment professionals” are not required to have any formal training outside of an entrance exam. That’s right, your “investment professional” may not have earned a college degree, any advanced designations, or even any education beyond the financial products that their wholesalers are promoting. Even more confusing are the many financial publications that are critical of brokers on one page and supportive of their efforts on the next. And with so any conflicting messages in today’s financial marketplace, it is easy to understand just why investors ask themselves this question so often. So why is there such a divergence of opinions on broker’s fees? Here’s my opinion No, a broker is not worth the fees they charge. Too often I see investors who have relatively simple investment objectives but pay a broker for something, they could likely do on their own. They do not own a business, they do not have tax […]