I thought my question was simple: How much was I paying my investment adviser in fees? After a series of phone calls that elicited the kind of confusion and frustration I have rarely experienced outside of interactions with cable-company customer-service representatives, I think I have an idea. Barely. Describing the fee disclosures of my adviser as opaque would be generous. The experience left me wondering whether someone even less savvy than me, a Wall Street Journal reporter, would be able to navigate this system, to ferret out the good information from the bad. Getting nowhere In most offices, I suspect that people try to stay up on sports or television to prime for water-cooler gossip.