Quick. How much do you pay in investment fees? If you don't know, you're probably in the majority. But it's not your fault, you're busy with work and family, and if you have an investment adviser, he or she probably doesn't make it easy for you to know what you're paying. That's exactly what Andrea Fuller, an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal, found out when she tried to figure out how much she pays in investment fees.
Fiduciary Rule or not, the commission-based business model of broker-dealers is under pressure. Today the Wall Street Journal reports that Merrill Lynch is moving away from commissions and lowering its maximum advisory fee by 18.5% for the 20% of its advisory clients which have sub-$1 million accounts. But at 2.2% of assets, Merrill Lynch's maximum advisory fee is still extremely high.