Normative Listing and Description of Mutual Fund Transparent and Opaque Fees and Expenses

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 Last revised: 8 Dec 2019

See all articles by John A. Haslem

John A. Haslem

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business; University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2, 2018

Abstract

This study provides mutual fund shareholders with a normative listing of transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses designed for most all funds. The most likely next step, if any, would be for a few "stewardship funds" to adopt the normative listing of transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses and attach to each its percentage cost to total net assets, if any. This analysis is needed, for one reason, because a large percentage of individual investors, especially those with low financial literacy, are unaware of the existence of traditionally opaque fund fees and expenses, no less their percentage costs.

The first goal is for each mutual fund to adopt the normative listing of transparent and opaque fees and expenses. The second goal is for each adopting fund to disclose the percentage cost (if any) for each item in the normative listing of transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses. General fund adoption of these two goals facilitates the third goal -- for each adopting fund Investors may then access the cost percentages, if any, for each of the normative transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses.

Only a few individual mutual fund fees and expenses in the normative listing of transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses are transparent -- the expense ratio, management fees, 12b-1 fees, and "other" expenses, and their components are traditionally opaque. While the overwhelming majority of fees and expenses and components are traditionally opaque, it is obvious individual fund investors would benefit greatly from knowing the percentage cost of each of the many items in the normative listing of transparent and traditionally opaque fees and expenses.

JEL Classification: G2, G23, G28

Suggested Citation

Haslem, John A. and Haslem, John A., Normative Listing and Description of Mutual Fund Transparent and Opaque Fees and Expenses (March 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2735525 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2735525

John A. Haslem (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

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University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

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