THUMBS DOWN: Avoid Surcharges That Cost You Extra

Physician's Money Digest, April 2007, Volume 14, Issue 4

Bottom Line

From brokerage houses to ATMs,people are getting hit hard with hiddencosts and surcharges. There are waysto avoid or minimize these pesky costs,as a article illustrates. Abrokerage house, for example, may hityou with hidden fees for maintainingan account if the account contains lessthan the broker's active minimum (ie,usually $10,000-$25,000). Also, inactiveaccounts, typically with less thanthree transactions per quarter, could beliable for inactivity fees. To avoid thesehidden costs, research brokerage firmsto see which one will suit your investingneeds best without charging youextra for your usual investing habits.Large investing firms aren't the onlycompanies hitting people with surcharges—even overnight mail hasadded surcharges for infrequent deliveryareas. Check out what the deliveryservice company considers remote orhave the package delivered to a companyaddress since home addressesare more likely to be charged extra.Credit cards from banks or even storesare also infamous for hidden surcharges,so do your research beforesigning up with a company.