New Tool: Portfolio MER Calculator

2008-05-13T13:40:46+00:00Investing, Tools|

I’m really excited to reveal my new Portfolio MER Calculator.

I wanted to create a calculator to show you how those hideous management expense ratio fees (MERs) can eat up your mutual fund portfolio returns, year after year.

My hope is you will save big investment bucks tomorrow by learning how your fees eat into your returns today.

Use the Portfolio MER Calculator to:

  • Tally the average MER for your portfolio.
  • Tally how much you pay yearly (or dearly) for the total funds held in your portfolio.
  • Tally how much you pay for each individual fund based on its percentage in your portfolio.
  • Run reports to see the big fee picture.

To use the Portfolio MER Calculator:

  1. Open the Portfolio MER Calulator.
  2. In Total Portfolio Value: $, enter the total value of your portfolio in dollars (for example: 25000).
  3. Enter the Fund Name, MER, and the Portfolio % this fund comprises in your total portfolio.
  4. Click Add Fund to add a new line and to continue building your portfolio.
  5. Continue entering fund data until you have entered 100 percent of your portfolio value.
  6. Click Calculate. Your portfolio Average MER and Yearly Expense displays.
  7. Click View Report. A detailed report displays and outlines the cost of each individual fund. Use this report to make better informed decisions when buying mutual funds.

Let me know what you think!


  1. DC February 17, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Great tool! A real eye opener, and makes me really want to move towards lower MER index funds (currently in the process of opening a TD e-Series Account!) Thanks for your work!

  2. fox February 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for your kind comment DC! I am beyond thrilled you found value in the MER Calculator! Indeed, it’s amazing how those MERs add up.

  3. Ken Kivenko January 6, 2010 at 5:07 am

    I think your calculator helps in protecting investors. Can you provide implicit assumptions behind it and the algorithm?

    Ken Kivenko
    Chair, Advisory Committee SIPA

  4. Kerry January 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Hi Ken,

    I initially created the “Portfolio MER Calculator” to see the full impact of fees on my own mutual funds. After playing with the results, I decided to share my tool with others. I’m not surprised that mutual fund companies don’t share this data with investors.

    This calculator uses the proportions (portfolio %) of each fund and the portfolio total amount to calculate the actual dollar amount in each fund. The MER for each of these is then used to calculate the expense for each fund. These are added up to give you the total yearly expense, which in turn is used to calculate an average MER.

    The tool does not take growth throughout the year into account, and also assumes that the portfolio percentages add up to 100%.

  5. Leo Chacko October 27, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    When I click on the Portfolio MER Calculator it takes me to another page but the Calculator is missing?

  6. Mike Finley November 4, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Has the calculator vanished? I really like it and have used it for many years to educate people on the cost of their portfolio.

  7. Kerry K. Taylor November 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Hi Mike, I fixed the problem. Let me know if you’re still having an issue. Thank you so much for educating others on MERs. Cheers, Kerry

  8. Kerry K. Taylor November 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Hi Leo, I fixed the issue. Let me know if you’re still seeing a bug. Cheers, Kerry

  9. Marc Moreau April 8, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Kerry,

    Awesome tool! Thank you. Wondering if it would be possible to download the actual spreadsheet. It would be helpful to save the various/numerous scenarios I’ve run through the tool.

    Marc M

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