A customary fund usually cost about £16,000 in fees wherein low-cost option could actually charge as little as £800. Fund managers are constantly changing their incremental charges therefore a lot of investors end up paying so much more than advertised fees.

Instead of including research cost and other similar fees within direct charges, fund managers are adding the costs and paying them with investor’s capital collectively known as “softing” which is identified as one of several hidden charges. This means that the true cost of investing is two folds the rate quoted in marketing text.

Investment funds ideally quote an annual management charge or AMC anywhere between 1pc and 2pc in a given year with the average of 1.5pc being the common charge. The total expense ratio (TER) is used to depict a clearer picture of the amounted charges as in includes the added charges such as auditor and trustee fees.

However, the real nature of investing can be substantially higher because neither the TER nor AMC charge transaction costs acquired by the fund manager each time they purchase and sell bonds and shares within their funds. These transactions result trading fees and broker costs as well as the stamp functions that is paid when purchasing UK shares.

Softing generally involves the fund manager end up paying much higher than necessary fees to the brokers usually investment firms that purchase shares off. Investment funds in turn seize some of the cost of the trade in an account for the fund manager.

By using soft commissions to compensate as stipends for fund managers’ expenses they were banned indefinitely after reports practices by a controversial firm more than a decade ago; however the FSA rules later allowed softing for continued research.

1. Looking at investment trusts to cut costs and still use an active fund

The largest investment trusts has on TER is 0.9 pc half of the average unit trust. Investment trusts can be rather erratic and volatile than unit trust as they are allowed to loan money for additional investment. This is basically referred to as “gearing” and while it can maximise much of the returns in rising markets, it will regrettably amplify losses to tremendous levels should prices fall.

2. Consider options with open-ended investment companies or unit trusts for the best deal.

The majority of fund supermarkets and online Sipps all offer reasonable discounts on at least some of the funds they offer clients. These discounts widely differ depending on who you make your purchase with.

3. Purchase additional shares to cut the fund manager’s AMC altogether

Look for a fund’s fact sheet online and you need to choose the fund manager’s top 10 holdings. By purchasing these shares directly through an online site you can imitate a fund manager’s key strategies without paying additional AMC fees but still acquire share dealing costs.

4. Take full advantage of your ISA allowance

You can accumulate a total of £11,280 in shares and stocks ISA whether in funds or directly held stocks and shares. There will be no income tax to be paid in stocks that having the ISA mark and any gains will result in exclusion of paying capital gains tax.