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Charge questions

There are several ways to access a set of funds. Some may choose the bond route – others to construct their own portfolio using a fund supermarket whether advised or non advised- others a multi-manager fund.

Some argue that it is not possible to compare like with like and that there are different tax treatments and marketing costs to be considered.

But a look at the annual management charges levied for buying into funds on Cofunds and FundsNetwork through bond wrappers compared with Isa wrappers or simply a portfolio of mutual funds shows them diverging widely.

Of course, not all products charge the same. This is a free market but with different tax treatments and client needs while different bits of a business may have variable start-up and admin costs.

But we invite those advising on one route over another and those supplying the products to consider how they justify the charges of one over the other and the advantages conveyed.

Otherwise, we suspect that the regulator may be asking the questions instead.

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