When stocks boomed, Thomas Ryu didn't pay attention to investment costs. But after the 2008 market crash, he began to notice the fees eating away at his dwindling portfolio.
"It felt more painful -- like rubbing salt on the wound," he said.
Ryu has since moved a chunk of his savings from actively-managed mutual funds into index funds, which mirror overall market movements and charge much lower fees.
As a result, Ryu was able to cut his overall fees in half -- from around 1% to 0.5%. With an account balance that is greater than $1 million, that move saves him more than $5,000 each year.