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Lightening the Load

May 04, 1997

Canadian mutual fund investors enjoy more flexibility in bargaining than do their American counterparts. Sales charges up north have been negotiable since the early 1980s.

"If you are a good negotiator, you can bring the load down," says John Kaszel, director of research for the Investment Funds Institute in Toronto. Brokers "within the same firm often will have their own fee schedules."

Of course, Canadian brokers and financial planners still need to earn a living and must work within their firms' revenue-generating requirements--two factors that limit how good a deal investors can cut.

But the ability to negotiate sales charges marks an important difference for Canada's fund industry, which counts about $170 billion (U.S.) in assets.

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