Investment fees are one of the biggest culprits in reducing investment returns. Beyond the performance of your stocks and bonds, if you're paying out a bunch of fees every year - you're just losing money.
While some investment fees are transparent, many fees are hard to spot, and harder to calculate how much they cost over time.
The most common investment fees that erode returns are:
- Commissions (this is what it costs to buy and sell your stocks, bonds, and ETFs)
- Annual Fees (this is what ETFs and mutual funds charge annually as a percentage of your holding)
- Loads (this is a commission built into a mutual fund)
- Advisory Fees (these are fees your financial advisor or firm charge you to manage your money)
Imagine you had a ETF that returned 5% last year. Well, if the ETF charged an 0.50% annual fee, and your advisor charged another 1% annual fee per year, that 5% return dropped to 3.5%. That's how fees can eat away at your returns.
But what if there was a simple solution that allowed you to know what you were paying in fees, AND suggested a better alternative? That's exactly what FeeX does - and it does it for free!
- A free app that analyzes your investments and provides fee savings
- Looks at the expense ratio of funds and tell you alternatives that will give you a better return due to less fees
- Walks you through the switching process
How FeeX Can Help You Pay Less In Investment Fees
FeeX is a FREE service that allows you to connect your investment accounts to their software, and it will analyze your holdings and provide you with recommendations about similar investments with less fees.
For example, in a past article I showed you how the majority of people who invest in the S&P 500 invest in an ETF called SPY. However, SPY charged double the fees of a fund by Vanguard, VOO. They both own the same 500 stocks - the stocks that make up the S&P 500. But you pay 50% more to own SPY versus VOO. Crazy!
The fact is, unless you had spent a lot of time doing your homework, navigating different financial sites, and looking directly at the annual investment fees, you would have never know that. But FeeX does all the work for you, instantly.
FeeX saves you time, but more importantly, they save you money (and potentially lots of it).
How It Works
When you connect your accounts to FeeX, it analyzes all of your holdings and provides you with a set of recommendations. Here's an example from my accounts:
When I first signed up for FeeX, I actually had a single fund that was potentially costing me $30,000 because of outrageously high fees - and I didn't even know about it. FeeX caught it. That's a good amount of money right there.
If you want to learn about the savings, FeeX gives you a full breakdown, including how similar the funds are to each other:
As you can see, there is 0.14% expense ratio savings between the two funds, but the Schwab fund also has a little better historical performance. However, this is a Fidelity account, so FIPDX is commission free!
By switching from the TIP to the FidelityFIPDX, FeeX estimates that I will lower my annual fees from $146.13 to just $38,45 - that's a huge savings!
At the top of the screen, it shows you your potential savings over time - and that can be a bit exaggerated, but it makes a point you should consider!
At this point, FeeX leaves the choice to you. Now you at least know the options, and what else is out there to potentially invest in.
Why I Love FeeX
This is why I love FeeX:
- They bring transparency to your investments and fees
- They provide a great comparison, so you know WHY they opt for one ETF over another
- All of the information they provide is FREE
There is currently not a better solution to optimizing your portfolio for fees that by using FeeX.
How FeeX Makes Money
FeeX does look to make money, and I really appreciate how they go about making money. Why? Because they provide an awesome free tool, and don't charge for it.
They make their money by providing services to brokers and RIAs who want to leverage their investing tools for their clients. They have other tools that help with account management.
Try FeeX Out For Free
If you have 10 minutes, try out FeeX right now. I think you'll be very surprised by how easy it is to use - and whether you use any of their paid services or not, you'll at least know where your portfolio stands when it comes to fees.
Have you used FeeX? What was your experience?
- Product Cost - 100
- Ease Of Use - 100
- Tools & Features - 100
FeeX is a free service that analyzes your investment account and finds ETFs and funds with lower investment fees to save you money.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.