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Understanding Embedded Fees Vs. Fee for Service

Paying advisor compensation is an integral part of receiving financial advice. To make informed decisions about your investments, you need to understand how your advisor is compensated and what you receive in return.   
Embedded Vs. Fee for Service
As a client, no matter what financial products you purchase – whether it's mutual funds, segregated funds, GICs or something else – there are two basic ways that you can pay for your financial advisor's services: through “embedded fees” or “fee for service”.

Here's an easy-to-understand breakdown of how the two compensation models work and the type of clients they best serve.
Embedded Fees
A service fee, sometimes called a "trailer fee," is included in the overall product cost. For example, if you buy a mutual fund, a trailer fee would be paid to GP Wealth Management and your financial advisor for their ongoing account services and investment advice. The service fee represents a portion of the total product cost, referred to as the Management Expense Ratio (MER), that the fund manager charges you.
Fee for service
You pay an advisory fee directly to GP Wealth and your financial advisor based on your assets under administration (AUA).
 
Let's compare the average cost of advice based on the two compensation models:
 
 
  • Embedded-commission model ranges from .1% to 1.50% of AUA
  • Fee-for-service model ranges from .5% to 1.25% of AUA
 
 
Which compensation model is best for you?
Under fee for service, your fee will be reduced as your account grows. This is because the more assets you have invested, the lower your costs as a percentage of total assets. Conversely, the embedded-fee model will generally favour an investor with a modest amount of assets to invest. 
 
Determining which compensation model would suit you best requires a thorough review of your personal circumstances and investment goals.
Learn more
Read more about embedded fees, fee for service and how your financial advisor is compensated:

Understanding the Cost of Advice
How Your Financial Advisor Is Compensated

 

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