OCF (ongoing charges figure)

Fund managers publish their ongoing charges figure (OCF) – previously known as the total expense ratio (TER) – to give an indication of the cost of investing in their funds.

Costs matter in investing. The more you pay to invest in a fund, the less money you have to meet your savings goal, and as time goes by, an extra few tenths of a percent here or there can really compound up. Over decades, we're talking thousands or tens of thousands of pounds of a difference to your pension pot, potentially. So keeping your costs as low as possible is a good idea.

Fund managers publish their ongoing charges figure (OCF) previously known as the total expense ratio (TER) to give an indication of the cost of investing in their funds. This figure is supposed to tell you the annual costs of an investment fund as a percentage of its average asset value over a single year in other words, how much of your investment is eaten away by running costs. So if a fund has an OCF of 0.5%, then for every £1,000 you invest, £50 goes on costs.

The OCF is made up of the fund manager's fees for running the portfolio, along with other costs, such as administration, marketing and regulation. It's meant to be used as a standardised method of comparing the costs of funds, and it's certainly worth examining before you invest.

However, you should be aware that the OCF does not include certain other significant costs, such as trading cost. These might include broker commissions for buying and selling investments, stamp duty on share purchases, and the difference between the buying and selling prices of investments known as bid-offer spreads. Therefore, a low OCF fund that does a lot of buying and selling one with high portfolio turnover could actually be a high-cost one. Nor does the OCF include any performance fees.

Recommended

Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now
Funds

Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now

The Financial Conduct Authority has asked for ideas on how to improve the consumer investment market. But perhaps the best thing to do right now would…
21 Sep 2020
Two new funds to invest in the next big disruptive industries
ETFs

Two new funds to invest in the next big disruptive industries

Food and education are two sectors ripe for disruption – and two new ETFs offer the chance to invest.
15 Sep 2020
Don’t be fooled by the illusion of safety in income
Sponsored

Don’t be fooled by the illusion of safety in income

The UK income sector has suffered badly. Max King looks at what the might future look like, and what investors can learn from the experience.
15 Sep 2020
I wish I knew what a tracker fund was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a tracker fund was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Instead of trying to beat the market, tracker funds – also known as “passive” funds – try to track its performance.
2 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?
Oil

Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?

With demand for oil hammered by Covid-19 and talk of “peak oil demand”, there are lots of good reasons to be bearish on oil producers. So, asks John S…
22 Sep 2020
IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it
Trading

IAG's share price is ready for take-off - here's how to play it

The owner of British Airways has had a turbulent year, but is now worth a punt. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to play it.
8 Sep 2020
Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?
Stockmarkets

Will a second wave of Covid lead to another stockmarket crash?

Can we expect to see another lockdown like in March, and what will that mean for your money? John Stepek explains.
18 Sep 2020