Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Fees and Investing: What to Consider When Picking an Investment App

Did you know that fees are the hidden killer of many investment portfolios? Many people will trade and not know how much of their profits are eaten up by fees.

In order to build your wealth, you will want to be able to understand the various fees associated with your investment trades. 

How fees can eat into your investment profits 

Here’s a look at how investing fees can eat into your trading. By addressing each of these issues below, you can go a long way to controlling your costs when it comes to your investing


Overtrading can affect you in a number of ways. First, you can end up spending lots of money when it comes to transaction fees. Remember, you will have to pay a broker fee whether your trade is profitable or not.

Now, there are some who use a commission free broker. However, nothing is free in this world. Commission free brokers tend to give you inferior spreads on your buying and selling of each asset. When you trade a lot, you are experiencing “slippage” with every trade. 

Using an expensive broker

There are some brokers that offer you excellent broker fees. However, there are other brokers who charge more for every transaction. Therefore, you will want to compare your broker’s fees with that of the competition. 

Using complex trading strategies

If you use complex trading strategies, you can end up overtrading and losing money with every trade. Complex trades can include advanced options trading such as iron condors and butterfly spreads. Be sure to factor in the traction fees in all of your trading strategies before placing the order. 

Futures trading

If you trade futures, you will be paying some of the highest transactions. Therefore, you will want to be careful with how many futures you will make. Be sure to check your monthly statement to see how much you pay in fees. 

The hidden fees of forex trading 

Finally, you will want to be cautious when it comes to forex trading. As you may know, forex trading does not have any commission. However, you may by accepting the spread that comes with every forex trade. You will want to make sure that you base your forex trading system on the most liquid spreads such as the USD/EUR. 

Types of fees:

There are a number of different types of fees that are associated with investment trading. Here is a look at some of the most common fees that you will encounter. 

Broker Commissions 

Broker commissions are associated with stock, options, and futures trading. These commissions can take a sizable chunk out of your portfolio if you are not careful about your trading habits. When it comes to stock trades, you will pay a commission when you enter and you exit a trade. 

Options are a little different. If you happen to open a trade, you will pay a commission. However, if you sell an option and that option expires worthless, then you will not have to pay a fee.

Exercise and Assignment Fee 

If you trade options, then you are probably familiar with exercise and assignment. When you exercise an options contract, you will have to pay an exercise fee. Also, when you have stock assigned to you, then you will have to pay an assignment fee. 

Expenses fees

Expense fees are associated with mutual funds and ETs. These expense fees are calculated on an annual basis. Some of these expense fees can be quite low. For instance, the expense fee on the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is only 0.09% per year. That means for every $1,000 you put into the SPY ETF, you only pay 90 cents per year. However, some expenses can go as high as 4% per year. That means that the fund or the ETF will have to return at least 4% before you break even. 

Management fees

If you have your money in a hedge fund, then you will pay a management fee. Typically, a management fee is about 2% plus 20% of your annual profit. For instance, let’s say you have $1,000,000 in a hedge fund. The hedge fund returns 20% that year. Before management fees, you will have $1,200,000. Now, the hedge fund takes 2% of that total of $24,000 plus 20% of the profit or $40,000. In total, the hedge fund takes a $64,000 fee leaving you with $113,600.

How to reduce fees associated with investing

Yes, there are some ways that you can build your wealth without giving a good chunk of your profit to brokers. Here are some strategies that can help you reduce fees associated with investing. 

  • Less Trading - Whether you have an account with a no-free broker or not, you will want to trade less. Trading less will not only save you in trading fees, you can enjoy lower capital gains tax by holding your position for longer than 12 months. 
  • Low Cost Index Funds & ETFs - There are a number of low cost index funds and ETFs that will allow you to build up your investments less than you’d expect. Some of the most popular low cost mutual funds are available from Vanguard, including the popular Vanguard Admiral Fund with an annual fee of just 0.10%. 
  • Active ETFs - If you are looking for more aggressive growth, then you will want to consider active ETFs with low expense fees. Active ETFs can trade in and out of positions every day. In fact, active ETFs can make thousands of trades per year. However, you never have to pay those commission fees. You simply pay the annual expense fee that can be as low as 0.30% per year. 

Getting started with investing with less fees

If you want to invest with less fees, then you should consider an all-in-one digital bank such as Unifimoney

With Unifimoney, you have access to a top trading platform that offers you fast executions and some of the most competitive commissions fees available.

*Important information and disclaimers

The above does NOT constitute an offer, solicitation of an offer, nor advice to buy or sell specific securities. The opinions listed above are not the opinions of Unifimoney Inc. or Unifimoney RIA, Inc. but represent the opinions of independent contributors. These contributors may or may not hold positions in the stocks discussed. Investors should always independently research any stocks listed and form their own opinions, while recognizing that any investments made may lose value, are not bank guaranteed and are not FDIC insured.