Below is a link to a Barron’s article which references a 15 year experiment by Paul Merriman where he invested similar amounts of money at Fidelity and Vanguard is essentially the same portfolio.  He started with $100,000 and ended up with $225,650 at Fidelity and $268,359 at Vanguard.  This is a meaningful difference that would only grow over time and would look much larger if he started with more than $100,000.  Most investors don’t know what they own, let alone what fees they are paying.  On our website under fees (, we discuss this briefly.  Mutual funds are almost always higher cost than ETF’s when you consider soft dollar costs, transactions costs, tax consequences, etc, which they often don’t have to report or make you aware of except when it’s buried in a 150 page prospects which few ever read.  The fact that most mutual funds have 5 or 6 different symbols with different fees is itself curious.

I wonder how much value our firm adds by using low cost ETF’s, tax loss harvesting on an ongoing basis and our proprietary investment strategies?

Author: Jared Toren