Center For Retirement Investing

The Center for Retirement Investing helps everyday Americans do a better job of managing their retirement investments. Ivy League professors translate the complexities of modern investing into easy-to-understand concepts and actionable advice.

Stock Brokers May Not Be On Your Side

Rebalance Investment Committee member Burton Malkiel on how stock brokers are not always required to act in your best interest.

If you go to a broker and the broker puts, the broker will tell you, “It’s okay. No commissions. We’re going to really take care of you and we’ll have a so-called wrap fee of 2 percentage points.” Well, that comes off in addition to the expense ratio of what that broker buys you, or what that investment advisor buys you.

So, you get expenses plus expenses, and there’s very little left for the investor. So it’s just — what Rebalance does is exactly the kind of thing that I believe in. And let me just mention one other thing about investment advisors. Not only will they charge these extra expenses, but they are conflicted. When they want to put a mutual fund into your retirement account, many of the high-expense mutual funds will pay that advisor some extra amount to sell you that mutual fund. So they tend to be conflicted, and they tend to put funds in your portfolio that they get the most income from.