Phil Cannella has a strong reputation for fighting “the powers that be” on Wall Street, exposing their conflicts of interest and lack of willingness to act in the consumer’s best interest. His latest mission centers on the Statement of Additional Information – Wall Street’s dirty little secret!
But Phil Cannella admits that Wall Street’s done a great job of keeping that secret—so great, in fact, that most financial advisors don’t even know the Statement of Additional Information exists!
“We’ve all heard about the Book of Prospectus—because we all read it cover to cover!” Phil Cannella joked at a recent Crash Proof Retirement educational event. “In that book, you can find out about the hidden fees your advisor never showed you.”But it’s another book—that little-known Statement of Additional Information—that tells the rest of the story.”
Phil Cannella and Retirement Media Inc. have done research indicating that almost 50% of fees in mutual funds won’t be found in the Book of Prospectus. Rather, you’ll need to ask your advisor for the Statement of Additional Information. Only there, wrapped in anywhere from 50 to 150 pages of complex legal jargon, will you find the rest of your fees—charges that take, on average, 1.44% of your funds annually. It’s bad enough that this document isn’t offered to you—you have to specifically ask for it by name. But worse still, if you do ask there’s a good chance your advisor won’t understand! That’s how well-hidden these fees are. Fortunately, Phil Cannella has made it his mission to uncover and expose the truth behind these ‘tricks of the trade’ that slowly drain your accounts. He accomplishes this by spending time at each educational event disclosing the existence of these statements, and then teaching attendees where they can find the one that pertains to their mutual fund.
“How many people have heard of the Statement of Additional Information?” Phil Cannella asks regularly. Rarely does a single hand go into the air. If you have a mutual fund, isn’t it alarming that you’ve never even heard of this document?” Cannella continues. “To me, that’s flat-out deception. The good news? In this day and age, it’s readily available if you know where to look. Just head over to Google and type in “[full name of mutual fund] Statement of Additional Information.”Once you find it, you’re in for some boring reading—as we mentioned, these are long, tedious documents that make the Book of Prospectus look like a Dr. Seuss book! But once you get through to the meat of the document, you’ll find a laundry list of charges and fees that are taken from your account on a regular basis.”
Phil Cannella continues to work hard to reveal truths like the Statement of Additional Information to Americans in or near retirement. And it’s a good thing he does—because we can’t depend on Wall Street.