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Save Money on Investments

You worked for your money, but is it working for you? Here's how to make it work smarter.

Slash your mutual fund fees

You can save more than 80 percent on mutual fund expenses—leaving you more money to invest—by choosing low-cost funds. An index fund (which mirrors the holdings of a market yardstick such as the S&P 500) generally costs less than an "active" fund (which picks stocks and may charge a "load" fee upfront and management fees). The fees on active funds average 1.22 percent of assets each year—far more than the 0.18 percent, for example, charged by the Vanguard 500 index fund. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)—similar to index funds except that they trade on stock exchanges—have fees comparable to index funds.

Profit from discount-brokerage price wars

Charles Schwab, E-Trade, Fidelity, and Scottrade have been slashing stock and bond commissions to lure back investors lost during the economic meltdown. You can find commissions as low as $7 per trade—that’s as much as 60 percent less than the cost a year ago.

Don't just take our experts' words for it—we want to hear how you're cutting costs. E-mail us your best money-saving advice!


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