1. Fees

As is common in the industry, all investment funds have fees attached. Some are added on when you make a transaction, such as a purchase, sale or transfer of funds. Others are deducted for as long as you hold your mutual funds. These include management costs.

2. What is a Management Expense Ratio?

The management expense ratio (MER) represents the total annual expenses required for the fund to operate. The MER is a percentage of the fund’s total assets. In concrete terms, it can amount to 2%, even 3%, reducing the fund’s return by the same percentage. The MER depends on the type of product. A bond fund, for example, is likely to be less costly than an equity fund, for which choosing securities demands greater expertise.

3. What are the Components of an MER?

The ratio takes into account three main expenses.

Management fees

This covers the fees paid to the investment fund and portfolio managers; the trailing commission, if any, given to your brokerage firm and investment advisor; and other related charges.

Fixed administrative fees

These include legal and accounting fees, bookkeeping and other common expenses.

Other fees

These include any applicable taxes, borrowing expenses and all fees incurred in obtaining external services.

4. What is a Trailing Commission?

Trailing commissions are remuneration for the advice you receive. The fund manager pays trailing commissions each year to the financial firm that sold you the fund (a stock brokerage, for example). This firm may then allocate a portion of its commission to your advisor. Trailing commissions are included in the fund’s management expense ratio.

5. What are the Acquisition Costs for Desjardins Funds?

Charges may be incurred when you buy or sell units, depending on the category or series of units you choose.

Purchase Fee

This is also referred to as a "front end load" or "upfront fee." It may be negotiated with your brokerage firm and will be deducted from your investment. For example, with a 2.5% purchase cost, the net amount of a $1,000 investment will be $975.

Redemption Fee

Also known as a "back-end load" or "contingent deferred sales charge" or "exit fee", it is non-negotiable and charged only when you sell your units. It decreases over time to nearly nothing after six or seven years.

Low Load Sales Charges

As the name suggests, this is lower than the typical redemption charge and runs out more quickly, to 0% after approximately three years.


In certain cases, there will be no charge, but instead a fee based on the value of your assets.