Getting Real About Fund Fees

So it’s time to get real about mutual fund fees. Sure, they’re lower than ever for many funds, especially those that track an index. In fact, the average fund fee is now 1.25 percent, according to Chicago-based Morningstar. Still, even this amount is too high and needlessly gives away most of your expected future gains. To understand this, consider the following: You have to frame your gains in real, after-inflation returns. In other words, your portfolio must match inflation just to keep your spending power intact. You …

Coalition Urges Labor Department to Protect Retirees’ Nest Eggs

Public interest groups have joined forces in a coalition to prod the U.S. Department of Labor to revise rules requiring financial advisers to act in their clients’ best interests when offering retirement investment advice. SaveOurRetirement.com, a website created by the coalition, is urging the Labor Department to update the so-called fiduciary rule. Without that safeguard, advisers to retirement plans could sell financial products that pay large commissions yet hurt their clients with unnecessary fees, poor returns or excessive risks, the coalition said. >> Enter …

Prepaid Cards May Get Added Fraud Protections

Swipe a debit or credit card and all sorts of consumer protections are in place in case something goes awry. With a prepaid card, not so much. That may soon end. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing to extend many of the consumer rights that exist for credit and debit cards to prepaid products, such as limiting customers’ losses if their prepaid cards are lost or stolen. >> 10 Consumer Spending Regrets “People use prepaid accounts as a convenient way …

3 Reasons Why Net Neutrality Matters to Americans of All Ages, Not Just the Youngest

By Jessica Winn As the song goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” Net neutrality could be the best thing we didn’t realize we had until it’s gone. Network or net neutrality, also called “open Internet,” is the Internet as we know it. That is, an Internet that allows users to search for gardening techniques, stream reruns of Knight Rider or Skype with a grandchild without having to pay a service toll or an extra premium. The …

Fees Can Sap Over $100,000 From Your 401(k) Plan

Some 52 million Americans rely on their 401(k) savings plans as a key part of their retirement. Now, the Washington-based Center for American Progress says in a new study that high investment fees could cost the typical worker $100,000 or more over the course of a four-decade career. That may force some to stay on the job at least three years longer than they’d planned just to make up for that loss. Given the fact that many older workers are having a difficult …

Payday Loan Fees Often Exceed the Amount Borrowed

If you need more evidence that payday loans can be a debt trap, look no further than today’s report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency found that 4 out of 5 payday loans are renewed or rolled over within two weeks after the end of their term. In half of these cases, the borrower renews the loan at least 10 times in a row. And repeat borrowing may be more expensive than many borrowers may realize. Fees in …