You're doing a great job explaining fees says IFIC

Survey also shows lack of interest in robo-advisors

You're doing a great job explaining fees says IFIC
Steve Randall
Investors in mutual funds are becoming a lot more savvy about the fees involved and the potential returns, especially when working with an advisor.

A new study for the IFIC by Pollara shows that among those investors who purchased mutual funds through an advisor in the past year, awareness of the fees they pay to the advisor and to the dealer was 85%, up considerably from 72% in 2015.

Among all investors, including those who did not use an advisor, awareness of fees was up from 69% in 2015 to 78% this year.

“We know that the process of changing behaviours takes time, said Paul C. Bourque, president and CEO, IFIC. “Whether because of CRM2 or other factors, Pollara’s findings are encouraging in that they show steady increases in several measures that point to higher levels of investor knowledge and engagement. These increases are consistent with improvements that the BC Securities Commission identified in their research.”

Seventy percent of investors said that they recall a conversation about fees that was initiated by their advisor. This is a jump from 58% in 2015.

Bourqe says that this increase shows that advisors are taking more time to explain fees to their clients which is improving client protection.

Some confusion still exists regarding statements.

While 82% said that their statements provide them with all the information they need, and 86% said those statements clearly shows the rate of return, half said that they do not clearly show advisors’ fees.

The IFIC says this confusion may be because only annual statements show fees rather than monthly or quarterly reports.

What about robo?
The survey also shows a lack of interest in using robo-advisors.

Only 1 in 5 respondents said that they were aware of these services and of those that are, only 19% said they would use one. That’s just 4% of all mutual fund investors polled.

Of the 40% of investors who had made new mutual fund purchases in the past year 85% were made through an advisor, and there was an increase in the share of those who said their advisor gives them a better return on investments.