hiddencosts

At the supermarket, shoppers receive detailed receipts of their scanned and bagged items. After restaurant meals, wait staff hand diners itemized bills. But call out “Check, please!” to a financial services provider and the result might be a rundown of cryptic line items—12b-1? Expense ratio? Or a passing reference to Part 2 of Form ADV.

Thanks to a new fee-disclosure rule from the Department of Labor, financial pros who offer retirement advice will have to disclose all costs associated with their services and products beginning in April.

But a disclosure that meets the letter of the law might not tell you exactly how much you’re paying in dollars and cents. To find out, you need to know what those fees are called, where they’re referenced, and how they’re calculated.

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