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Fund Supermarket Guide

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look for in a fund supermarket?
First consider what you want to invest in and through which channel you wish to invest. When researching funds on a supermarket it can be difficult to make comprehensive comparisons, as the supermarket may only store data on the funds it is selling. Also think about whether you need investment advice; there are a few supermarkets that offer an advisory service.

If you usually invest in an ISA towards the end of the tax year, it could be useful to look for a supermarket that will allow a lump sum investment online using a debit card. If you want a diverse ISA account, check that it has the ability to mix and match funds. As the online capabilities of fund supermarkets are frequently changing, take extra time to research the market before investing.

Is it cheaper to invest through a fund supermarket?
This depends upon the supermarket. The majority of supermarkets have substantial discounts on initial charges, but you still have to pay the annual charge in full. Use of a supermarket is usually free. If you invest via a supermarket operated by a discount broker or other IFA you may have to pay additional fees for the extra services offered to you or for administration.

Is it easier to invest through a fund supermarket?
In many ways, yes. When there are no technical problems opening an account, investing online is a relatively quick and easy process, especially compared to the conventional paper-based option. On the other hand, if you are concerned about the security of online investing and prefer to post your application forms, many supermarkets also enable you to download or request them. But the choice is sometimes limited.

One of the benefits of a fund supermarket is the ability to combine funds from different management groups in one ISA. This cannot be achieved outside of a fund supermarket (or similar facility), as ISA regulation restricts new investment to just one group each - for cash and stocks and shares - within a tax year. To make life easier, many supermarkets also offer ready-made fund packages.

Who are fund supermarkets aimed at?
Many supermarkets are aimed at the confident investor, although there are usually details on how to contact an IFA for advice before investing. There are also intermediary-only supermarkets. Contact your IFA if you would like to invest through this type of supermarket. Remember that they can determine the level of discount you receive on initial charges which may be different to the supermarket's original proposition.

What happens after I've invested?
The type of service received after investment can depend upon the method through which you have invested. Confirmation of purchases can be sent via email or a Contract Note through the post. Most supermarkets that have fully online capabilities also provide a portfolio tool (you usually need to set up a password) enabling you to check account progress or a transaction summary. If you invest in a mix and match ISA you may also receive a consolidated statement once or twice a year in addition to your online portfolio.

Transfers and other changes to your account also depend on the capabilities of the supermarket. The process of switching funds ranges from instant transfer online or via email, to having to send written instructions by post or downloading and posting a form.

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Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.

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