How do you find and compare returns on institutional mutual funds?
Also, I keep reading that the fees on institutional funds are lower, however looking at the Fidelity funds they have front end loads of up to 5.75%! Given the low expenses associated with today's ETFs, are institutional funds still considered a superior investment, and if so, why?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
There is a difference between funds aimed at institutional investors and those that are sold by brokers and commission salespeople.
The Fidelity Institutional Funds indeed have lower fees than the funds offered to the masses, but the minimums are higher. For example, FSMKX is the Spartan 500 Index fund and has an expense ratio of .10% with a minimum investment of $10.000 ($2,500 for an IRA). The institutional product is FSMAX. It has an expense ratio of .07% and a minimum investment of $100,000.
Neither of these funds have a front-end load.
However, Fidelity offers a line of broker sold funds known as the Fidelity Advisor funds which carry a range of front-end load charges, essentially compensation for the broker selling them to you.
To summarize: If your fund has a front-end load, then it is a broker sold fund and his compensation comes out of your investment. If you have the higher minimums for institutional funds, then you should be able to buy them directly without a sales charge.Source(s): Fidelity Mutual Fund Guide, Bloomberg, Fidelity Investments.