August 19th, 2017

Desperately seeking Fund Facts

By Letter to the Editor on March 16, 2017.

To my financial advisor:

I have been with your company for several years and have never asked for advice as my portfolio was for retirement (long term). There is a letter with my portfolio statement which has a paragraph stating “While it is important to understand the cost associated with your investments, it is equally important to understand the value of the advice you receive.”

I now understand it is up to me (not my advisor) to be on top of my investments and that it is my fault for not seeking advice sooner because, as far as I can tell, what I’ve made in interest over the years has been paid out in many different types of fees, including advisory fees.

There are all kinds of fees noted in the “Fee Schedule” of my portfolio statement. Then I read about paying one per cent On-Going Trailer/Service fees as noted in Acknowledgement of Receipt of Documents? Plus, all the fees noted in each Fund Fact? Am I paying extra for your advice? What other fees may I be unaware of?

I am retiring in June and will be on a fixed income. What I really require is not a bunch of paperwork I don’t understand but honest advice in plain, simple English. Maybe I’m seeking a portfolio and advice your company cannot provide. I want reasonable fees that hold no surprises, do not outweigh interest or inflation, will hopefully last into my golden years and will not increase my tax base. Plus, if I need my money, what is the best way to retrieve it and how much will it cost me?

I did not receive a Fund Fact for X fund so I don’t know what I’m comparing these switches to. Am I currently in low, medium or high risk? What are the fees associated with this fund? What actual fees will I pay when switching from X fund to these other two funds? If it doesn’t cost extra, please forward Fund Facts for all my investments.

Please do not take this letter as criticizing you. I am critical of all the fees and trying to understand what I don’t understand when it comes to my retirement costs which are not guaranteed.

Val Hill


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