15 most hated fees

Stand up to the pesky charges -- from checked-bag costs to retirement plan expenses -- that bug you the most.

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8. Paying to shut a brokerage account or IRA
What it costs: $$--$$$

What you're mad about: No matter how unhappy you may be with your broker, you seem even more unhappy to discover that you'll have to shell out to sever your relationship. Many of the major firms -- such as Fidelity, Schwab, and WellsTrade -- charge transfer fees, generally between $50 and $200, if you close your account and move your money to a different firm. Reader Eric Nix finds it "outrageous" that he had to lay out $50 to switch brokerages. Benjamin Poor of Cerulli Associates, a financial services market research firm, agrees. "It's like having a bad meal at a restaurant, then being charged to leave the building."

How to fight back: If your current brokerage is holding you hostage with its fee, appeal to the company where you want to move your funds. Many will reimburse you. To prevent these problems down the road, when you first sign up at a brokerage, ask that it waive such fees. "These things are negotiable, especially if you have a sizable account," says Mason Dinehart, a securities expert witness. (Sizable means six figures.)

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Last updated June 11 2010: 3:40 PM ET
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