How much are you paying for the privilege of investing? Investment expenses make a huge difference in how much money you have in retirement. Even a 1% expense ratio can account for over 30% of your returns over 40 years. This tool visualizes the impact of various investment expenses over long time periods. You can adjust the management fee, sales load, expense ratio and time period. Click on the details button to see the magic of compounding in the Compound Expense column, which is the loss of market return on expenses already paid. Unfortunately, this is how compounding works against you, especially over longer time periods. The area shaded in blue is your portfolio value after expenses. Your goal is to maximize the size of this area. The areas shaded in red, orange and green are expenses and compound growth that are subtracted from of your total market return. You want to minimize these areas. This tool models purchasing Class-A shares with a front-end load. See investment expenses for more information.