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The Hidden Cost of Fees

In the course of our strategic consulting practice, Optima Group frequently conducts primary market research with affluent consumers of financial services. We typically delve into a broad array of topics, including product and service preferences, pricing and fees, reporting requirements and overall client satisfaction.

A comment that we often hear voiced is that clients do not want to be “nickeled and dimed” with a myriad of fees and charges. It isn’t the level or amount of fees that these individuals find annoying. Rather, clients feel that this is a sign that their relationship is not special or appropriately valued by their provider.

The moral is that implementing fees may ultimately cost a wealth manager well more than it’s worth in the end. Waiving or reimbursing fees, such as ATM charges, while costing providers a relatively small amount in absolute dollars, can help to build loyalty and goodwill. This can ultimately generate far more than revenue alone for the organization.