Understanding investing fees


If you don’t have time to read through the whole article, you can check out our short version below:

When it comes to investing, common fees include upfront fees, custody fees and management fees.

When you enjoy your daily cuppa, you know there are costs for:

How much we value the raw materials, craftsmanship, sales experience or quality of services determines how much we are willing to pay.

When it comes to investing, costs include:

· Processes
· Manpower
· Expertise for product development
· Creating distribution channels
· Ongoing management and administration

These costs are sometimes unseen by investor.

While fees and charges are inevitable in investing, knowing what they cover can be helpful in understanding what value you get for the money you pay.


Fees incurred at the time of purchasing a product a.k.a sales charge for Unit Trusts; commission or brokerage fee for Equities.

These cover the costs of:

When minimum sales charges are imposed, it is more costly to do many small transactions, rather than a larger, single transaction.

If amalgamation is offered, all trades performed during the day are totalled up so you save on minimum charges for each trade.


Charged by fund managers for administering and managing a fund.

These cover the costs of:


Charged for holding and administrating your assets, such as stocks.

In the past, these were physical custody papers that required safekeeping.
Now, this has been digitised but still requires the services of a custodian.

Examples of custody services are dividend entitlement, a corporate event notification and regulatory reporting.

A further breakdown of investment costs and how they can affect your returns can be found here:

Hello, we’re NAV.

Inspired by the word “navigate”, NAV is an initiative by DBS & POSB created to help you navigate your finances, your way. Whatever your financial goals are in life, no matter what situation you are in, we’re here to help you on your financial journey.

Ready to start?

Speak to the Wealth Planning Manager today for a financial health check and how you can better plan your finances.

Let's Meet

Alternatively, check out NAV Planner to analyse your real-time financial health. The best part is, it’s fuss-free – we automatically work out your money flows and provide money tips.

Log in Now