You have heard the drumbeat: Keep your fees low, and financial success will follow. But do you really know how much you are paying in fees?
The question is far from academic. Investors in defined contribution plans and individual retirement accounts pay billions of dollars in fees every year, and every dollar they pay in fees reduces returns.
Therefore, if one of your New Year's resolutions is to clean up your finances, understanding your 401(k) fees is a great place to start — if you know where to look.
Luckily, federal regulations have made it easier than in the past to figure out what you are paying in 401(k) fees. But too many people fail to look and see what they are shelling out, said Lisa Bleier, managing director and associate general counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.
"Folks do now have the materials" to see what they are spending, she said. "Disappointingly, people are not using them as much as we wish they were."