Margot Bai, author of "Spend Smarter, Save Bigger", made a guest post on Canadian Dream’s blog. I have read the free chapters on her book site and have added the book to my library reading list. Margot’s post makes some excellent points and she is an excellent writer.
When it comes to achieving early retirement, I agree with Margot, that ‘buyer beware applies to financial services’, and that we all "need to educate ourselves". I find that I am learning all the time.
On the subject of mutual funds I have a few additional comments. My mutual funds are not locked in, although there is a fee (~2 %?) if you sell them within the first 3 months. Also, not all mutual funds have high fees. I never buy mutual funds with front or rear charges.
The normal MER is about 2.5 % for "stock picker funds". In comparison, an index fund, one that can only be purchased "on-line" with TD Waterhouse, have an MER of only ~0.35 %. This lower MER is an important difference. It gives these index funds a 2 % edge over "stock picker funds" and other index funds... no matter what the market does.
You can find Margot's post at: http://canadian-dream-free-at-45.blogspot.com/index.html