Do you know how much you're paying in fees on your investments?
If you're like most Americans, the answer is no. And recent evidence that fund fees are going down doesn't necessarily mean that more mutual fund companies are acting in your best interest. Rather, more investors are taking steps on their own to get off the high-fee treadmill.
A recent Morningstar study found that the asset-weighted expense ratio across all funds (including mutual funds and exchange-traded products) was 0.64 percent last year, down from 0.76 percent five years ago. That drop in the expense ratio — which represents the percentage of assets in a fund deducted each year for expenses like management and administrative fees — was largely driven not by funds cutting fees, but by investors increasingly seeking out funds with lower fees.