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Rating:BlackRock to Charge a Low Balance Fee Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BlackRock to Charge a Low Balance Fee

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

BlackRock will charge an annual low balance fee of $20 for fund accounts that have a balance below $500. This marks the first time that the New York City-based mutual fund firm will impose a low balance fee, a company spokesperson confirmed to The MFWire.com.

In an SEC filing yesterday, BlackRock said that effective June 9, it is replacing the "Note on Low Balance Accounts" paragraph in the fund prospectuses with the following:

Note on Low Balance Accounts. Because of the high cost of maintaining smaller shareholder accounts, BlackRock has set a minimum balance of $500 in each Fund position you hold within your account (“Fund Minimum”), and may take one of two actions if the balance in your Fund falls below the Fund Minimum.

First, the Fund may redeem the shares in your account (without charging any deferred sales charge) if the net asset value of your account falls below $250 for any reason, including market fluctuation. You will be notified that the value of your account is less than $250 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption. The notification will provide you with a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment in order to bring the value of your account to at least $250 before the Fund makes an involuntary redemption or to the Fund Minimum in order not to be assessed an annual low balance fee of $20, as set forth below. This involuntary redemption may not apply to accounts of authorized qualified employee benefit plans, selected fee-based programs, accounts established under the Uniform Gifts or Transfers to Minors Acts, and certain intermediary accounts.

Second, the Fund charges an annual $20 low balance fee on all Fund accounts that have a balance below the Fund Minimum for any reason, including market fluctuation. The low balance fee will be assessed on Fund accounts in all BlackRock funds, regardless of a Fund’s minimum investment amount. The fee will be deducted from the Fund account only once per calendar year. You will be notified that the value of your account is less than the Fund Minimum before the fee is imposed. You will then have a 90 calendar day period to make an additional investment to bring the value of your account to the Fund Minimum before the Fund imposes the low balance fee. This low balance fee does not apply to accounts of authorized qualified employee benefit plans, selected fee-based programs, or, accounts established under the Uniform Gifts or Transfers to Minors Acts.
 

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