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04/11/2017

Confused About Brokerage Fees? These Tips Can Help

Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Banking and Securities has published a new, one-page guide to help consumers understand the fees brokerage firms charge when servicing and maintaining their clients’ money.

While brokerage firms are required to disclose all fees to customers, they are largely free to decide how to do so. Consumers have the right to receive these fee schedules before authorizing any investments, but it is the consumer’s responsibility to read and understand all of the information a firm provides to them.

“Fees charged for a consumer’s brokerage account can vary greatly from firm-to-firm, which can make it challenging to comparison shop,” advised Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann. “This new guide will help investors understand what questions to ask and what information they are entitled to when making these important decisions regarding their money.”

These tips can help consumers make a well-informed decision regarding their investments:

  • Ask for the fee schedule up front and make sure it is the most up-to-date version;
  • Watch for any changes in fees;
  • Be sure to read all of the fine print – regardless of how the fees are disclosed – and ask questions; and
  • No matter the length, take the time to review all of the information provided and ask as may specific questions about services and associated fees as necessary.

“Do not be afraid to ask important questions, such as how you will be notified if there is a fee change,” added Wiessmann.

“Understanding Brokerage Fees” can be found online: www.dobs.pa.gov/Documents/Publications/Handouts/Brokerage%20Fees%201P.pdf

Every brokerage firm and their investment representatives doing business with Pennsylvania residents must be registered with the Department of Banking and Securities. Consumers with questions are encouraged to contact the department at 1-800-PA-BANKS. Investors can also learn more by following PA Investor Education on Facebook.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Novak - 717.783.4721

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