I'm new to mutual funds so also wondering how I determine if the fees being charged are reasonable... Are there set standards?
The mutual fund company publishes a prospectus and fact sheet where you can find all of the information about the mutual fund share classes. If you go to the following link you will find a discussion of different share classes:
A way of determining how a mutual fund performs and how he fund invests, you should go to www.morningstar.com . You can get some good basic information on the free site. If you want to upgrade your account to the plus version of their service, they have some very good information available to investors which only used to be available to investment professionals a few years ago.
While an investment advisor can help you interpret the data and guide you in your asset allocation decision, the more educated a client you are the better.
Hi Gershom! Mutual funds have annual expense ratios published in the prospectus. Funds invest with different styles (growth, value, small cap, large cap, etc.) and in different asset classes (bonds vs stocks); and some specialize in sectors. Generally smaller, more focused funds might have fees larger than the larger funds with a broader portfolio, so it's important to compare apples to apples in determining reasonableness, i.e., how does a large cap fund compare with the fees of other large caps. Morningstar can provide some information on that. I have a guide available on this site on mutual fund expenses, including ones you don't see. You might also want to read some financial magazines, and even check their websites, regarding fund fees. If you're new to investing, you may want to consider a broad low-cost index fund and begin dollar-cost-averaging. Good luck!