It is possible to find funds offering better value for their fees. I have noted some in past posts. Many private investment counsels offer fees for portfolios and funds of 1 to 1.5%. Bank brokers fees are negotiable and can be as low as 1% for larger accounts of ..one...million...dollars. In some cases, the fixed income component of the bank broker holdings may come with no fees, with fees applied only on the equities - this pushes down your overall effective fee percentage.
Avenue Investment Management offers innovative performance-related fee reductions whereby the equity fund fee is cut in half whenever the return is negative. They have a performance based fee for returns over 10%, but it is capped at 1% which should tend to deter too much risk. Fees are also reasonable to begin with (the Avenue Total Return Equity Portfolio has a management fee of 1.5% of assets under management. for equity portfolios over $500,000).