HSBC to launch low-cost funds

HSBC has unveiled plans to launch three low-cost funds of funds on 17 October.

The HSBC World Index range contains 'cautious', 'balanced' and 'dynamic' funds, which will invest in global equities and bonds, as well as alternative investments such as commodities, private equity and property.

The three funds will invest in HSBC Global Asset Management's existing passive funds and exchange traded funds as well as external funds. The portfolios will be rebalanced on a regular basis by the multi-asset team, led by Caroline Hitch.

They will have a 0.5% annual management charges and zero initial fee. The total expense ratio (TER) is expected to be 0.83%.

The funds are available through financial advisers, directly to private investors and within some pension schemes.

HSBC's launch follows other big investment managers setting up low-cost funds.

Last month, Fidelity Worldwide Investment unveiled plans to launch three low-cost versions of existing multi-asset funds, using passive funds to provide the exposure. They will charge 0.5% a year in annual management charges.

In February, JPMorgan launched a low-cost active managed fund with a maximum total expense ratio (TER) of 0.55%, while Schroders launched a suite of cheap actively managed equity funds with TERs capped at 0.4%.

Jason Witcombe, chartered financial planner at Evolve Financial Planning, says the trend towards these low-cost funds is "good news" for investors.

He adds: "The adage that 'you get what you pay for' doesn't apply to fund management as paying high fees for actively managed funds doesn't guarantee better performance. In fact, it is often the opposite with compounding effect of high charges decimating long-term returns. These low-cost launches should therefore be applauded."

This article was written for our sister website, Money Observer