Investors in low-cost funds are keeping more of what they pay for.

The message from investment research is clear: Don’t assume that you’ll get more if you pay more. You can’t control the markets, but you can control the amount you pay to invest. Lower costs allow you to keep a greater share of an investment’s return. Over the ten-year period ended December 31, 2015, low-cost funds outperformed high-cost funds. So it’s not surprising that investors frequently say that fees are an important consideration when buying a mutual fund.

Over time, lower costs have meant higher net returns

For more than ten years, investors have been favoring low-cost equity funds.

Investors are increasingly gravitating toward low-cost options. The equity funds with expense ratios in the lowest quartile attracted $611 billion over the last 15 years, while funds with higher expense ratios suffered net outflows.

Investors favor Roth IRAs for new contributions

Investors’ preference for low-cost bond funds is clear.

Roughly 93% of net cash flows into taxable bond funds went to low-cost options. By “voting with their feet,” investors in both equities and bonds are showing they’ve clearly received the low-cost message.

Taking advantage of lower tax rates in the conversion zone
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