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Mutual Fund Fees - INVESTOR CLINIC STRATEGY Fund fees the...

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INVESTOR CLINIC / STRATEGY Fund fees - the charges that keep on taking JOHN HEINZL THE GLOBE AND MAIL September 2, 2009 Canada has some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world. But being mild-mannered Canadians, we just sit there and take it. "Canadian investors do not pay much attention to fees. Canadian investors are comfortable with the fees because they don't know how low these fees should actually be," investment research firm Morningstar said in a report that gave the industry an F on fees and expenses - the lowest grade among 16 countries surveyed. Today we'll look at where these fees go and how they affect an investor's returns. If you're one of those passive, procrastinating types who can't be bothered doing anything about the hefty fees you're paying, read on. By the end of this column you'll realize that fees - even a few percentage points annually - are one of your worst enemies as an investor. Fees? I'm paying fees? A typical investor in a Canadian equity fund pays 2 to 2.5 per cent in fees annually, or about double the fees of a U.S. fund, according to Morningstar. As stiff as our fees are, many investors aren't even aware that they're paying them.
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