Beware: this article may upset you

Beware: this article may upset you

Beware: this article may upset you Last week WP wrote about State Street’s steep reduction in ETF MERs in the U.S. Advisors took exception to our suggestion that the same was inevitable in Canada. Now a respected financial research organization operating on both sides of the border has its say.
 
Morningstar’s February/March edition of its magazine devotes a large number of pages to the subject of fees — those in the U.S. and Canada.
 
Although the bulk of the discussion is based on American fund costs, Morningstar does devote an entire page to the Canadian experience. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t find much good about our fund fees, at least not for investors.
 
Advisors — well that’s an entirely different matter.
 
In his opening commentary entitled “Fee’d Off,” Morningstar editor Jerry Kerns points out that American investors still have much to be grumpy about when it comes to fund fees. This despite the average MER for equity funds declining by 30% between 2002 and 2013.
 
Farther along in his commentary, Kerns singles out Canada.
 
“Then, there’s Canada. U.S. investors may find it difficult to figure out exactly what they’re paying for their funds, but Canadians have it far worse. In Canada, funds with the same share-class letter might be distributed through completely different channels, making apples-to apples price comparisons extremely hard.”
 
It’s not enough that our fund fees are much higher than those in the U.S., but we also have a much more difficult time comparing a fund’s peers
 
On a positive note, however, Kerns’ Morningstar colleague Paul Ellenbogen suggests the U.S. fund industry standardizes how players report fees in dollars and cents rather than percentages and basis points making it easier for investors to understand exactly what they’re paying for their advice.
 
Sound familiar?
 
That’s exactly what CRM2 is attempting to do by July 16, 2016. 
 
Note:
To view the report click on the link which takes you to page 35. It’s a very interesting read.
Also, here's a link to last week's article - Fund fees take a hit.
 
2 Comments
  • Arthur C Salzer 2015-02-21 2:47:13 PM
    Canadian investors deserve full transparency. CRM2 is a great step. When will Regulators require insurance brokers to disclose commissions on policies?
    Post a reply
  • Will Ashworth 2015-02-23 9:54:05 AM
    Good point, Arthur. When?
    Post a reply