Monday, June 24, 2013
The Intelligent Investor: Going Dutch — Could Fee Hurdles Come Down Everywhere? - By Jason Zweig
With markets in turmoil, investors need good advice even more than usual. But investing advice remains confusing, costly and opaque—and that needs to change.
New rules in the U.K., the Netherlands and Australia show one drastic way to tackle the problem. Starting this coming week, commissions on popular investments like mutual funds will be banned in Australia. Later this year, the Dutch government will finalize a law that will ban commissions as of Jan. 1, 2014. A similar prohibition already went into force in Britain as of Dec. 31, 2012.
These changes provide a glimpse of one possible future for U.S. investors: a market in which “what the adviser gets paid is no longer linked to which product the adviser sells to the client,” as Mark Wiedman, global head of iShares, the largest manager of exchange-traded funds, puts it.