In mid-February, as markets began their marked descent, the message from the pros came like a steady drumbeat: “Stay in the market. Stick to your strategy.”
These statements represent of course, the best practices, and the reality, of successful investing. But it’s an interesting fact that there are few products – at least that I’m aware of – that reward investors who stay the course. And that is why Jeff Benjamin’s article about Fidelity cutting fees caught my eye.
The fund giant has launched a new series of funds that will test the efficacy of reducing the fees according to the duration of the investment. “Fidelity is hoping to attract longer-term investors with a mutual fund expense ratio that starts at 1% for the first 12 months, drops to 75 basis points for the next 24 months, then falls to 50 basis points.”
That’s good business on two levels. The first serves Fidelity’s interests. Three years is the average hold, so it’s probably no accident that that is when the expense ratio falls to 50 bps. But the second holds more altruism. Telling investors to buy and hold is one thing. Rewarding them for doing so puts your money where your mouth is. I look forward toseeing how this test performs.