When any price war starts there are rarely any winners, however I think I have found one that is good for consumers that want to invest.
During my 26 years providing financial advice to individuals there has never been a better time to manage your own investments, quite simply you as a consumer can now get the same information that was once hidden from view. Importantly with traditional investment fund managers getting things so badly wrong, now is the best time in history to start making your own investment decisions.
One thing I have always focused on is the issue of charges, an annual charge of 2% may not seem large – but 20% of your fund being deducted every 10 years should be unpalatable for many. Yet there are still a good number of investment options that are charged at even higher rates than this (still).
Recently I have been having a close look at pension funds, with poor investment performance and charges conspiring to make most pensions just about the worst investment you could make. Now with a change of rules they are a little more palatable, but I am even less convinced about the use of conventional pensions for many, and given my own problems with pensions not fitting my lifestyle I am even more sure than ever.
The good news – with a kind of price war going on between managers of index tracking funds and ETF’s (these are pooled investments – similar to a unit trust but purchased and sold like a share) we can now all get access to investments with charges so low we should be buying them in droves.
Todays news that Fidelity have matched Vantage and Blackrock by reducing charges across as range of funds is fantastic news. It is now possible to obtain access to a fantastic and well performing tracker fund with charges of .10% (you read it correctly) noting that the FTSE 100 index beat just about all other pension and insurance investments and nearly all unit trust investments over the last ten years or so.
The world has changed, and you no longer have to accept the things that are placed in front of you by your bank or adviser.
More information about ETF’s
ETFs are funds that are traded on a stock exchange like shares. They are a pooled investment fund, where an individual can gain exposure to a particular index or commodity, providing the investor with the same returns as the underlying market.
There is an extremely wide range of ETFs available to the investor, who can invest in things as diverse as soy beans, forestry and timber, as well as a FTSE 100 tracker or corporate bond fund ETF. They are a type of passive investment, meaning there is no asset-selecting fund manager supported by an active management team. Instead, as the process is highly automated ETF fees are very low – less than 0.5% in most cases.
If you want to invest in the overall FTSE 100 Index, you can buy an ETF that will mimic the movements of the FTSE 100. When the FTSE 100 goes up, your ETF will increase in value.
When the FTSE 100 goes down, your ETF will decrease in value. – See more at:http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/122230/what-is-an-etf.aspx#sthash.8chHjkSM.dpuf
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