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
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
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