Too Little Too Late?
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Friday, January 12, 2001

Too Little Too Late?

This year, Janus has dropped its IRA account fee. The $12 charge applied only to accounts of $10,000 or less.

"Generally, we don't send any bills out to our shareholders until August," said Jeff Snyder, Janus spokesman. "In this case, they won't be going out this year."

Snyder cited lowered internal costs as one reason Janus made the change and mentioned that the firm has lowered its fee-free minimum.

"There were additional costs to run those fiduciary accounts and they've really been coming down over the last couple of years. I remember several years ago, we used to charge accounts under $25,000 and then $10,000," said Snyder. "Now we feel we can absorb those costs without having to spread that cost among the majority of our IRA shareholders."

According to Snyder, the change has long been contemplated by Janus and the firm's record outflows played no role.

"It's something we've been thinking about for a long time. We thought it was in the best interests of our shareholders for their savings not to receive a fee," Snyder said. "But it had nothing to do with performance-related issues."

Only fourteen percent of the firm's IRA accounts were small enough to draw a fee, and Snyder would not offer information on the number of Janus's IRA accounts or average account size. Nevertheless, the firm is not hunting elsewhere for the lost revenue and has succumbed to outside pressure.

"It's not something we're really trying to make up," Snyder said. "I think really it's just to keep in line with some of our competitors, so we've elected to do so as well."

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