We all want the latest good deal so we can make lots of money and retire well. That’s the dream of many, and it’s certainly possible to attain. However, even if you’re really good about saving and making all the right investments, you could still be shooting yourself in the foot if you’re paying out high investor fees. Here are a few ways to prevent those fees from cutting into your profits.

First off, those fees you’re paying will — some day anyway — impact your return. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the many types of fees and how to lessen them.

Investment Fees

These can include anything from account maintenance and mutual fund management fees to trading commissions and investment management fees. You may pay for advice, or you may pay fees related to the buying and selling of stocks. Some you pay simply for the privilege of keeping your money with a particular company. Some are flat rates, some are percentages. Some are higher for trades placed on the phone with a stock broker, while others are lower when placed online. The key is to ask and be aware of what you could pay with each option you select.

Fund Fees

When buying into mutual funds, you’re paying for professional management, with commissions to buy or sell that may range between two and five percent, says Bankrate. As an investor, you could pay the fund company an upfront percentage in addition to the broker’s commission. You may choose a no transaction-fee fund, but just be aware you’ll pay for those privileges somewhere, and it’s probably bundled into your total costs.

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Saving $$$ on Fees

The above are just a few types of fees you could encounter. Here are some tips to keep your costs down:

  • Ask about the investment fees you can expect to pay
  • Learn how much you will pay for a trade before you do it
  • Compare options. Keep in mind, actively managed mutual, international or global funds and funds from certain brokerage companies will have higher investment fees, while index funds and exchange-traded funds are generally lower.
  • Be smart. Don’t just go with the no-transaction feed mutual fund just because it’s cheaper than one that costs a few bucks. This isn’t a value of the investment itself!
  • Look at a company’s comprehensive fee schedule before consolidating your accounts (did you know many investment houses also offer checking and savings accounts, as well as mortgages and credit cards?)
  • Keep the number handy of an experienced securities fraud attorney you can trust, just in case things go south and you get taken for a ride by your broker.