Financial Planning is important and if you are of ‘certain’ years you have probably considered at some point investing your hard earned in order to grow what you have without having to work for it. Nothing much to ask, you supply working capital to a market place and in return see your money grow. The same methods that have been used for a millenia.
So you take some advice about your cash and are advised to invest in a ‘UK Equity Fund’ – broadly based across a wide range of shares and managed for you. Problem here is two fold. Firstly charges are vitally important.
Given one of the more popular funds at the moment ~ Jupiter Growth and Income (4 star on Morningstar) you will note the following.
- It has performed fairly well.
- It has outperformed the Index.
- It has not been ‘overly’ volatile.
All good news here then.
Until we consider carefully the issue in relation to charges.
Certainly if you invested in the in the fund at it’s lowest point and sold recently you would have doubled your money since the beginning of 2009. Making a £1000 investment £2000 (ball park), however charges would have eaten into a chunk of this. Roughly equal to 15% of your initial investment.
So far there is nothing wrong with that. Jupiter have delivered a quality return for the charges levied ~ a win win. But then again so did a lot of other fund managers. The key to this is…..
Even if they had not delivered, even if the markets generally had been depressed your charges would have still been fifteen percent (15%) of the intial investment.
Charges are important, have always important along with investment returns. You need to be aware that your adviser is probably not covering these with you in full detail, certainly if you are presently taking advice from a Bank or Building Society based adviser I can probably guarantee you are not aware full of exactly what charges you are paying and to whom.
Just to outline one more issue on the subject of investment returns below you will see a graph of the FTSE 100 index and the FTSE 250 index (Green) taken from Yahoo Finance today. You or your advisers might not be aware that the FTSE 100 is now made up of a good number of foreign firms or at least firms that get a large quantity of profits from overseas.
Whereas the FTSE 250 is nearly all UK firms, remember if you don’t know you don’t know. Far too many investors think the FTSE 100 is made up of the Top 100 firms in the UK ~ wrong. The correct answer to this is maybe!
All investors need to get savvy on these matters, investment and investment advice is not always what it seems.