April 15, 2011 - 50 Ways Retirees Can Cut Their Investment, Insurance, and Banking Costs - by Morningstar Investment Research
Morningstar analyst Russ Kinnel once astutely observed that most consumers know almost precisely how much they're paying for cable television each month. But ask them how much they're paying for mutual fund fees and you're bound to be greeted by a blank stare. The reason? Unlike with their cable provider, they're not writing checks to their investment managers to pay them for their services. Or to their banks. Instead, most of the fees that they pay come right out of their accounts, making it a lot harder to keep track of those costs, or to even give a hoot about them. But financial-services expenses, including those from insurance and credit card companies, can readily add up to be one of the biggest line items in any household budget. With that in mind, Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz offered some ideas--50 of them--for keeping your investment, insurance, credit card, and banking costs down.
Among the other topics we addressed this week:
* Profits Can't Stay High Forever. With corporate profitability near historic highs, it will be increasingly challenging for firms to keep margins at today's levels.
* As Oakmark Grows, Investors Loom Large. Oakmark's investing-centric corporate culture is solid, but lower fees would be welcome.
* Why American Funds Is Unlikely to Close a Fund. Size-induced large-cap focus could have benefits, though, especially these days.
* Large, Top-Performing Small-Cap Fund to Close. Plus, municipal finances draw congressional scrutiny, and more.
* Behind the Manager Changes at Three International Funds. At Janus, Oppenheimer, and Fidelity, new leaders enter at a tough time.
* Dividends, Buyouts, and PIKs, Oh My! Risky transactions in the corporate bond market are staging a comeback.
* Can a Stumbling Clipper Regain Its Stride? A close look at Morningstar's only 1-star Analyst Pick.
* Key Investment Themes for the Near Term. Needham's Chris Retzler discusses how he positions his portfolio based on general growth themes that are likely to occur (or already are occurring) in the near future.
* Spotlight on CEFs: Morgan Stanley China A Shares. This CEF invests in Chinese companies, traded on Chinese exchanges.