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Gross Expense Ratio (GER)


The Gross Expense Ratio (GER) is a financial term that refers to the total percentage of a fund’s assets that are devoted to running the fund. It includes the management fees, operating expenses, administrative fees, among others. The ratio is expressed as a percentage of the average net assets and indicates how much operating expenses can potentially reduce the return to the fund’s investors.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Gross Expense Ratio (GER)” would be: Gross: /ɡrəʊs/Expense: /ɪkˈspɛns/Ratio: /ˈreɪʃiːoʊ/GER: /dʒiː iː ɑr/Putting it all together, you would say: “growse ek-spense ray-shee-oh (jee ee ar)”.

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Gross Expense Ratio (GER) is a measure of the total costs of managing and operating a fund, such as an investment, mutual or exchange-traded fund. These costs can include administrative, management, advertising, and all other operational expenses.</li><li>GER is important when evaluating the potential profitability of an investment. Higher expense ratios mean that more money is being used to manage the fund, which can reduce the income available for distribution to investors.</li><li>Even though two funds might have similar returns, their net profits can vary significantly due to the differences in GER. Thus, it’s essential for investors to consider a fund’s GER before investing.</li></ol>


Gross Expense Ratio (GER) is an important business finance term because it is a key indicator of the total costs associated with managing and operating an investment fund such as a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund. GER, which is expressed as a percentage of the fund’s total assets, includes expenses such as management fees, administrative charges, operating costs, and other costs. By evaluating the Gross Expense Ratio, investors can directly compare the costs of managing different funds, and factor these costs into their investment decisions. It is significant because a lower GER means a higher net return for the investor. Hence, understanding GER can help investors make more informed, cost-effective investment decisions.


The Gross Expense Ratio (GER) serves a crucial role in enabling potential investors to analyze a fund’s efficiency and overall performance. It gives a clear picture of the total annual operating expenses charged to a fund, before the reimbursement or waivers. These expenses often include administrative fees, management fees, and other operational costs. When it’s high, it implies that the fund might not be managed efficiently, thus admonishing potential investors. GER is often used as a key factor while comparing different funds. Potential investors consider funds with lower GERs as they offer higher profitability potential. In cases where two funds provide similar returns, the fund with a lower GER is often seen as the better option because the net returns would most likely be higher. Thus, the Gross Expense Ratio acts as a critical tool for investors to gauge where they can maximize their profit.


1. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFIAX): As of December 31, 2021, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund had a gross expense ratio of 0.04%. If you hold $10,000 in this particular fund for a year, you would pay $4 in fees. 2. T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund (PRFDX): This fund has a higher gross expense ratio of 0.66% as of December 31, 2021. If an investor had $10,000 in this fund for a year, they would pay $66 in fees.3. Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund (ODMAX): This is an example of a fund with a high gross expense ratio. As of December 31, 2021, its gross expense ratio was 1.17%. If a person were to invest $10,000 in this fund for a year, they would pay $117 in fees. Gross Expense Ratio is crucial to consider before investing in any fund as it directly affects your returns. A fund with a high gross expense ratio might not be desirable if similar funds with lower fees are available.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Gross Expense Ratio (GER)?

GER, or Gross Expense Ratio, represents the total operating cost of a mutual fund or ETF, as a percentage of the fund’s total assets. This expense is expressed as a percentage which is calculated annually.

Why do we need to look at the Gross Expense Ratio?

The Gross Expense Ratio helps potential investors understand how much it will cost to invest in a particular fund, which can affect the overall returns. High GERs could significantly eat into your returns, especially in cases where the returns themselves are low.

What does a higher GER indicate?

A higher GER indicates that the fund’s operational costs are high relative to its total assets. This can mean that a greater portion of an investor’s funds may be eaten up by expenses, instead of being invested for potential growth.

Is a low GER always good?

While a lower GER can suggest lower costs and potentially higher returns, it does not guarantee the performance of the fund. One should also consider other factors such as the fund’s strategy, management, historical performance, and risk level.

What type of expenses are included in GER?

The GER generally includes administrative fees, management fees, and other operational expenses of the fund. It does not include brokerage costs or sales loads.

How is the Gross Expense Ratio different from the Net Expense Ratio (NER)?

The NER takes into account both the fund’s Gross Expense Ratio and any fee waivers or expense reimbursements that the fund might have. Thus, the NER is usually lower than the GER as it takes into account these reductions.

Where can I find a fund’s Gross Expense Ratio (GER)?

The GER of a fund is usually disclosed in the fund’s prospectus and on its website. It may also be found on other financial platforms that provide detailed financial securities’ data.

How frequently is GER calculated?

GER is calculated on an annual basis.

Does Gross Expense Ratio (GER) affect the fund’s net asset value (NAV)?

Yes, GER impacts the fund’s NAV since it is subtracted from the gross returns before calculating the NAV. Higher GERs can result in lower NAVs.

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