“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Most readers have probably heard this saying, but where does it come from? Well, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, saloons would offer their patrons a “free lunch” in order to drum up business. Source At many places, patrons were required to buy a drink before engaging in the “free” lunch. Additionally, many of the foods served were incredibly high in salt. The saloons would often serve salted cheeses, ham, crackers, pretzels and breads. This food would cause the diner to become thirsty and buy more drinks. The drinks would increase appetite and the cycle continued. Pretty devious. Source

Even today, some bars engage in the free lunch promotion; of course, you have to purchase two full price drinks ($10 a piece) in order to qualify, according to this reviewer. So, two drinks and a cheeseburger for a quick lunch. Maybe that’s a good deal, but it definitely has a cost. Still, it is not like I am telling you something world-changing; most people know that, logically, nothing is truly free. Still, even though we know logically that nothing is free, we often do not make logical decisions when buying products and services. Many of our buying decisions are made emotionally.

So, how does this relate to investments? Well, because investment charges are often hidden and difficult to decipher, many investors think they are paying nothing in fees. Yet, the average person with a $120,000 account paid $873 in ongoing mutual fund expenses. This $873 did NOT include sales charges, account fees and other charges. Some people pay much more than that. Unfortunately, since investors never see these fees, they can become complacent, disengaged and underserved by their advisors. Investors who pay hidden feesĀ  can end up paying much more and getting far less service than clients who pay their advisors directly.

So, we implore you to think about your investments with a critical eye. We will be happy to help you unearth the hidden fees you might be paying. We will be even happier to be your advisor. We promise that our fees will be transparent, we will be diligent, we will work hard for you and we will act in your best interest. Most importantly, we promise it won’t be “free.”