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What are the expenses of a fund of funds like Fidelity 2020?

Nov 12, 2013 by Gregory from Escondido, CA in  |  Flag
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Greg,

The Fidelity Freedom 2020 Fund has an expense ratio of .69%. This information can be attained on Fidelity's website. Another site you can view information for any fund is www.morningstar.com

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 12, 2013 from Uniontown, OH

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Great question Gregory, the simple answer can be found by entering its ticker symbol (FFFDX) into a site like Morningstar and looking for the expense ratio. In this case it is .69%.

However that is not the entire story. Many times funds incur trading costs that also get passed on to the end investor also if the fund invested in something that had its own expenses those would be passed on to you through lower returns.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 12, 2013 from Kingsport, TN

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The expense ratio is .69 HOwever. Look at the expense ratios of funds with In Freedom fund and add It up you are over 1% many investors do not realize that Best of luck Michael www.VisionaryWealthMgmt.com

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 12, 2013 from Farmington, CT

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Hi Gregory! You have a great question regarding fund fees. While you can locate the fee for the Fidelity fund, keep in mind that various funds will have different fees. So the fee for the 2020 Fund will not be the same as other similar Target Date funds. They may vary from a low at Vanguard of .16 for their Target 2020 Retirement Fund, to more than 1% for other similar funds. You would want to look at other selection criteria such as how the fund is managed (active or passive), how long it has been around, and even the glide path as the investment approach the stated target date. These can all impact the "value" of the fund just as much as the stated fees. You can contact an hourly-planner to help you select a fund that is appropriate for you. Good luck!

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 12, 2013 from River Hills, SC

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Gregory,

To piggy back on Pam’s thoughts, when it comes to fees it is very important to know the exact name and share class of the 2020 fund you are researching. Take Fidelity for example. They offer 14 different 2020 funds: 6 different share classes of the Fidelity Advisor Freedom series, 5 of the Fidelity Income Replacement series and 3 from the Fidelity Freedom series. The only difference between share classes within a fund series is the fees you will pay to own the fund. Fees can be charged when you buy the fund, sell the fund, and annually to hold the fund.

For example, the Fidelity Advisor Freedom 2020 A class has a 5.75% upfront charge and an annual fee of 0.89%. The B class has no upfront charge but may have a 5% charge when you sell it if you do not own it long enough, and an annual fee of 1.64%.

The least expensive Fidelity 2020 fund is the Fidelity Freedom Index 2020 W. It has no upfront or backend fees and only costs 0.19% annually. But you may find you will not have access to this fund. It may only be made available inside Corporate Retirement Plans.

I’m sorry this is so complicated. The various share classes serve as a way to compensate the fund company, like Fidelity, for managing and operating the fund and to compensate brokers and advisors for distributing the funds. Some financial advisors are paid directly by their customer. In this case they are most apt to recommend the least expensive fund they can find because they have no financial incentive to sell a high cost fund. Other financial advisors charge their customer no fee but are instead paid by the mutual funds they sell. That is the main reason you will find 14 variations of the same fund with fees ranging all over the place. The point is to be careful. Always know what you are paying before purchasing a mutual fund.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 12, 2013 from Woodbridge, VA

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All great answers... but, just wanted to add that the fund with the lowest fee doesn't always equate to the best value. In addition to comparing fees, also consider the performance of said funds. A fund that's averaged a 12% return over a defined period of time, with a 1% expense is obviously a better value than an "identical" fund that's averaged 9% with only a .2% expense ratio. Price vs Cost. Look for a good CFP in your area... many work on a fee only or hourly basis, and can be a great value over time. Best Regards, Rod

Comment   |  Flag   |  Nov 14, 2013 from Springfield, MO

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