I came across a great article on the Business Times on why retail investors suffered from extremely high fees of which I have highlighted some portions here:

In Singapore, fund sellers are remunerated not only through an upfront sales charge, but also through a share of the trail fee – that is, the portion of the annual management fee the fund pays out to distributors.

The annual management fee accounts for the bulk of a fund’s total expense ratio (TER); the sales charge is not included in the TER calculation.

TERs are a drag on investment returns. Equity funds’ TERs easily exceed 2 per cent.

Source: Why Singapore retail funds’ costs remain stubbornly high 

More awareness in terms of fee reduction

Greater knowledge of the impact of fees on overall returns has led to investors becoming far more discerning. After all, cost savings are guaranteed but performance returns