New fee disclosure rules are coming in July of 2016, but are they enough?
The changes are part of the second phase of the Client Relationship Model (CRM 2) that will require that investors get greater transparency in the fees that they pay for financial advice.
If a financial advisor receives a "trailer fee" from a mutual fund company, they will have to disclose the dollar amount that they have been paid on top of any fees that they receive from the client.
Obviously it will be incumbent on the advisor to communicate to the investor what services they are receiving for the fees that they are paying.
Certainly this is one step forward.
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However, what will not have to be revealed in this information are the fees that are charged by the mutual fund company, commonly known as the Management Expense Ratio (MER).
Every investor should be asking (and has the right to know) what the actual costs are for the services they receive: retirement and estate planning, portfolio management, tax planning and insurance.
Understanding the costs of growing your assets is paramount, especially in a low return environment where those costs can eat significantly into your annual rates of return.
Ask the tough questions.
If you don't get the answers, think twice.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist