Morningstar: Mutual Funds Only Kinda Suck…

Part of the wave of revolution happening in the financial services right now is the movement from Mutual Funds to Index Funds, like ETFs. For years, I was a pariah in my old firm for advocating such indexing efforts. Recently Bob Seawright did a fantastic job answering, Why do clients need an Adviser if they index?

And now Morningstar is out with its latest edition of MorningstarAdvisor on the Urban Myths of Mutual Funds. Although it’s not quite the back-slap you’d expect from the leading Mutual Fund ratings company…

One urban myth circulating among investors is that mutual funds have hidden fees of 140 to 200 basis points that are omitted from expense ratios. When these hidden fees are added to a fund’s stated expense ratio, they presumably bring overall annual fund expenses to something in the 2.5% to 3% range. When the additional toll of taxation is taken into account, the total cost of fund ownership is supposedly close to 5% for some funds. It’s enough to send shivers down your spine.

While the terror of taxation on fund shares one continues to hold is real, the 140 to 200 basis points in hidden costs are largely fiction. The idea does have a basis in reality, however. Mutual funds do omit the cost of trading securities from their expense ratios…

The article is chock full of Chupacabra-busting…

Mutual Fund Urban Myths – MorningstarAdvisor