Retail investors usually have no idea how much their brokers charge them in fees other than commissions, because brokerage firms do a poor job of telling them, according to a survey released this week. 

The North American Securities Administrators Association commissioned a survey of 1,072 Americans who said they had brokerage accounts. It found that 30 percent of investors thought their brokerage firms didn't charge annual service and maintenance fees, although almost all of them do. 

It found that 52 percent of investors were aware of such fees, but didn't know how much they were. 

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