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Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I pay the smallest fees of all?

Thanks to Personal Capital’s new report, The Real Cost of Fees, you can finally answer that question.

Defining the Real Cost of Investment Fees

For its new report, Personal Capital ranked 11 brokerage firms on their true client costs based on anonymous data gathered from 155,924 users.

According to the anonymous data, Merrill Lynch clients pay the highest total investment fees, at 1.98% annually. That means that for the average $500,000 investment, a Merrill Lynch client would lose $936,390 during 30 years of investing. (Loss amount assumes 7% annual return and consistent investment fees for all three decades.)

Of course, Merrill—and most other brokerages—won’t tell you how much you’re actually losing. Or what that looks like in terms of your retirement. Is a financial advisor telling you that you’re paying 1.98% in annual fees instead of telling you that you’re losing hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime of investing? That’s the equivalent of a doctor telling you that you have 300,000 malignant cells instead of saying you have Stage 3 cancer.

You wouldn’t stand for that kind of obfuscation from a healthcare professional, so why put up with it from your broker?!

Guess Who Charges the LOWEST Fees of All?

Hint: You’re on their website right now.

The Personal Capital report listed the lowest average total fee at 1.06%. Not bad, USAA!

But we’re doing even better.

ValueAligned Partners wasn’t ranked in the report. Our firm simply isn’t tracked by Personal Capital’s software. But that’s probably a good thing for the other brokerages because our 1% total fixed total fee money management, advisory, commissions, and reporting beats all of big boys: Merrill Lynch, Ameriprise, TD Ameritrade, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, E*Trade, and Fidelity.

(As noted by Matthew McConaughey’s character in the film The Wolf of Wall Street, the titans’ game is “moving the money from the client’s pocket to your pocket.”)

What Really Matters is the Science of Investing

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We know there’s a science to good investing. It not only guides our decisions but also gives us confidence in those decisions.

In fact, we’re so passionate about sharing the science of investing that we’ve made it our mission to share it with as many people as possible—whether they become clients of ours or not.

(Keep in mind that the science of investing is something that the larger brokerage firms keep close to the vest—if they even use it at all. Remember, they still charge you investment fees whether you make money or not!)

To learn more about the science of investing, sign up for my free educational seminar on October 8. And in the meantime, secure a time slot for a 15-minute financial check-up!