Mutual funds and ETFs have been a great way to provide loads of investing options to investors everywhere but if they have a drawback it can be how expenses and fees can eat into shareholder returns. Big S&P 500 index funds and large funds that track the major indices often charge almost nothing to invest so shareholders notice almost no difference when comparing performance to the underlying index. But some charge such a high level of fees that there's almost no way it can match its index over the long term.
I've always been a proponent of ultra low cost investing since it's the one thing investors can control and will always be the easiest way to keep more money in your pocket. Broadly speaking, investors should stay away from funds with unwieldy expense structures. Here are three of the more egregious examples of fee levels that are just too high.
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