Equity mutual fund investors paid an average 99 basis points in fees and expenses in 2009, while investors in bond mutual funds paid 75 basis points, both unchanged from the previous year, according to an Investment Company Institute study.
The expense ratios of the average stock and bond funds each rose by 2% in 2009, to 86 basis points and 65 basis points, respectively, according to the study, “Trends in the Fees and Expenses of Mutual Funds, 2009.”
The average maximum sales load on stock funds was 5.3% during 2009, though the average sales load investors actually paid was 1%, “owing to load fee discounts on large purchases and fee waivers such as purchases through 401(k) plans,” the study said.
Also, the average fees and expenses paid by mutual fund investors have fallen by at least half since 1990, when stock fund investors paid an average 198 basis points and bond fund investors paid an average 189 basis points.
“We found that the rising expense ratios of stock funds were offset by a decline in sales charges, or loads, paid by investors,” Rachel McTague, an ICI spokeswoman, said in an interview. “The change in stock fund expense ratios was attributable in significant part to the effects of the stock market downturn.”