The reason we are having another consultation on investments is simple. It’s because the others haven’t worked.
Will this one work? Only if it has genuine teeth.
There are issues – unresolved issues – from previous consultations. Evidence has been called for and we’ve still to see the results of the consultation.
Can we hope for better? The cost of fund management has not fallen in 150 years, we continue to lost around 2% of the value of our assets each year to intermediaries, just as we did in the days of Counting Houses.
The technology dividend has been wasted on layers of useless intermediation, each governing the next. Fiduciary Managers, need consultants to check how well they’re doing. They’re checking on the Fund Managers who may well be investing in someone else’s funds.
There are platforms to pay, brokers and dealers take their cut, there are custodians…
Lawyers maintain compliance, auditors audit and there are advisors charging you for advice – all charging themselves to the fund. Sometimes these costs fall within the annual management charge, sometimes they don’t.
It’s a thieves charter!
Not all fund are ripping you off, not all advisers are ripping you off. You may be getting good value from your fund platform. But how do we know?
I know of no business which fails so badly to tell customers what they are paying for. Nor do I know an industry which is so poor at explaining itself to its customers.
I am not sure we need another consultation. The reason we are getting one is that the other ones haven’t worked and the reason they haven’t is because the funds industry and the investment consultants have managed so far to kick the hard questions into touch.
The questions keep on coming – sooner or later we will get answers.