Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 631

Hidden gems

15 March 2013 / Issue 631

Where to find value in today's markets


  • Come on, George - it's time to get radical
  • The best frontier markets to buy now
  • Warren Buffett hasn't lost his magic touch


Merryn Somerset WebbEDITOR'S LETTER

Merryn Somerset Webb

Fees still matter

I did some financial exams just before Christmas. One of the questions in the essay section was: “‘One of the most important elements in choosing a fund should be the level of charges and other expenses.’ Critically assess this statement.”

As regular readers will know, we have been critically assessing this statement in MoneyWeek for over a decade. Sometimes life is kind. However, while I think you know how we feel about charges (and I’m pleased to say that the examiners appear to agree with us), it is a subject worth revisiting – given it’s now only a matter of days until those who want to use their full individual savings account (Isa) allowance for this year need to have moved the cash into their wrappers. Once that’s done, they’ll want to start thinking about where that cash goes.

We’ve got some good ideas for you on this in the magazine (see our Roundtable). But as you wander the investment universe with your £11,600, try not to commit to anything until you have looked back to a note, referenced by Peter Bennett of Walker Crips this week, but originally written in 1997 by the kings of the low-cost tracking business, Vanguard.

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Fees still matter.