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Greetings, Rufford, and welcome. You asked:

I'm just starting to look into getting the most out of my retirement investing. I'm 24 and have been investing in the company 401K for over a year.

My employer 401K has 6 investment options. They include a "stable income fund", s&p 500 index, select stock, US small company stock, global desified , and one other option I can't seem to find in my notes.

On deciding where to best put my money I have asked about the fees and how they are assed for each fund. I was told that they do not publish the fees in anything they could mail me, but that they can tell me what they are from their computer system. They could not tell me when the fees are assesed or how the fees that are listed as a range, but would research that and get back to me.

Are there standard assesment times? At the time of investment, anually?

The fees range from 0.04% for the S&P500 Index to 0.65% - 0.75% for US Small Company Stock.

Also, what does the range mean? Any ideas on how the actual number is worked out?

These fees seem pretty small compared to what I've seen for other types of investments. What would be considered normal? I haven't run the numbers, but I would guess that a 0.5% fee difference over 20 years could turn out to be a pretty significant amount of money.


Yes, those small differences do add up to big bucks over the years. I congratulate you in trying to pin them down. That can be a very frustrating task. The Department of Labor recently published the results of its study of 401k fees and expenses. For those interested (and you are), it makes a great read. It also gives you tips on how to find out what your 401k is really costing you. You can read/download it at http://www.dol.gov/dol/pwba/public/pubs/401kfe~1.htm . It will give you quite an education.

Regards…..Pixy

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