Each month we publish the best comments, emails and letters from our readers. Here are the best of October 2017:
This month's star letter: ‘The investment industry is good at confusing customers’
On the Moneywise Starter Growth Portfolio chart [in the August 2017 edition], there are four funds listed and the examples given show how a £5,000 portfolio split equally across the funds would have grown over the stated time period.
First of all, I think the article as a whole, including the main Moneywise First 50 Funds page, is very helpful for new investors since it acts as a filter and you’ve taken the time to really look into your recommendations. It has pointed me in the right direction and I will be selecting my first-ever two funds largely based on your recommendations with some slight amendments in order to cater for my specific needs and circumstances.
However, I noticed during a forensic look at the satellite fund mentioned, CF Lindsell Train UK Equity, that the minimum investment into this fund is £500,000 which is some way off the initial investment of £1,250 used in your example. If not for the fact that investment’ I would have just assumed that the £1,250 was a top-up figure, so the only other things I can think of that may explain this discrepancy is that in August 2016 the minimum investment was far less than what it is today or your lovely editor has made a mistake? Better still, I have misread or misunderstood something and there’s no mistake at all?
Please can you clarify this for me. Thank you and keep up the good work!
Moneywise says: Thank you for your question about the Moneywise First 50 Funds. We’re afraid that the investment funds industry is very good at confusing its customers. Plenty of funds show ‘minimum investment levels’ that apply to the investment platform (the fund supermarket) that is buying them, not the end consumer. The platforms buy the funds from the fund management companies in big chunks, often of £1 million or £500,000, but they can then cut these up into much smaller bits to sell on to consumers – you can usually invest in a fund via an investment platform with just £50.
As you are selecting your first two funds, you could consider going with the platform that we recommend for smaller portfolios: Cavendish Online, where you can buy CF Lindsell Train UK Equity with £50.
Readers can view the Starter Growth Portfolio at www.moneywise.co.uk/first-50-funds.
One-day energy switching on the cards
Moneywise says: We reported online in September how energy regulator Ofgem is looking to introduce one-day energy switching in future.
Currently, it takes between two and three weeks. One reader comments:
This is great news. Last year, it took me seven weeks to switch, but this year it took 24 days. Customers should also be allowed to refuse the 14-day cooling-off period if they wish and should be able to agree to switch on a fixed date without losing the deal. I switch every year, but not being able to fi x a transfer date is frustrating. I would also like to pick a direct debit date and send readings at the end of every calendar month.
C/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
‘It could have been a lot worse – really?’
Mr Prestridge should review the complacency exhibited in the opening paragraphs of his September column and recognise the privileged universe that he and his friends in the ‘financial’ sector inhabit. Does he think that no one has been paying for the crash of financial greed a decade ago? Tell that to the most vulnerable in society (including those on, or who were on, disability benefits, many of whom have seen their meagre income cut by 60% or more) and see how they react to his self-satisfied assertion that “it could have been a lot worse”.
D/VIA ONLINE COMMENTS
Jeff Prestridge says: Thank you so much for your comment. I apologise if my article about the legacy of the 2007 financial crisis appeared complacent. I absolutely accept that there have been losers as a consequence. I think what I was trying to say is that it could have been a lot worse. Can you imagine if one of the big banks had collapsed and confidence in the UK banking sector and the UK economy had disappeared? If that had happened, the economic consequences would have been catastrophic.
I really appreciate you taking time to comment. Let us hope that as a society we can become more inclusive and care for those who are vulnerable.
Write to us
Each month the reader with the best letter wins a £50 M&S gift card.
Write to us (including your name, address and telephone number) at
Letters, Moneywise Publishing, Standon House, 21 Mansell Street, London E1 8AA
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can air your views at www.moneywise.co.uk using the comment facility at the bottom of articles.