Fund houses urged to better explain costs

Fund houses urged to better explain costs

Information on the true cost of a fund is difficult to obtain and hard to understand in the way it is often presented, according to the commercial director of research house Square Mile.

Steve Kenny said the problem was there was no standardised way of presenting the information and no regulatory requirement to present it in a specific way and this meant factsheets were often confusing to investors.

He said: “As an experiment, I showed five fund factsheets to five clients and they couldn’t identify the charges from the factsheets, which is where they are supposed to be presented.

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"Even as an industry person I couldn’t understand it as it was presented."

His comments came as he launched the company’s joint venture with FE Fund Info, the creation of a dashboard for advisers. 

Square Mile and data provider FE Analytics's fund dashboard contains what he believes is the key information for advisers to consider about each fund. 

The dashboard, which will go live in the first quarter of 2020, will rate funds based on five categories: opinion, performance, risk, cost and ESG credentials. 

Fubd houses who are existing clients of both firms will receive the dashboard for no extra cost, while others will have to pay to access the dashboard, though the level of pricing has not yet been determined. 

The dashboard will be the primary interface on the Square Mile website.

Mr Kenny said the dashboard reflected the changing nature of the way people consumed information, with the information contained in the dashboard typically not being available in an easy access way and a digital format. 

Stephen Mitchell, head of proposition at FE Fund Info said: “Within the industry, our research data and technology are highly respected and by working with Square Mile, we will add more transparency to the world of investing.”

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