FAQs

In our FAQs we cover general information about FundExpert as well as answers to common questions (you can click the links below to skip to the relevant section).
If there's something that isn't covered here then do drop us an email and we can add it in.



About FundExpert


What do we do?
We are an online platform providing fund research and investing guidance.  Our goal is to enabling investors to make better investing decisions.

Is FundExpert regulated by the FCA?
Yes, we are fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The reference to this on the website is here.

What would happen to my investments if FundExpert should fail / go into liquidation?
Your investments are registered with Fidelity FundsNetwork, so if something happened to FundExpert the investments will remain with Fidelity FundsNetwork.  For more on how Fidelity FundsNetwork protects your investments, have a look at this page on their website.

I have money to invest but can't use a computer very well.  Can I speak to you on the phone please?
FundExpert is a non-advised, self-directed website. We do not a provide telephone service as experience suggests that most telephone calls are from those seeking advice.  FundExpert provides guidance only, not advice.

If you are interested in an advised service there is more information available here.

What are your charges?
Our Gold Membership is charged as your ‘typical’ subscription service of £49.99 per month.

For investing through our platform:
For non-advised, self-directed investors who are happy to make their own decision using the research available on FundExpert, the ongoing charges for Unit Trust and OEIC investments via FundExpert are as follows: 
  • an annual management charge payable to the Fund Manager. This will usually be in the region of 0.6% - 0.75%, the fund fact sheet will show these.
  • 0.25% platform fee taken by FundsNetwork. Fidelity FundsNetwork administers all investments made via FundExpert.
  • 0.5% service fee payable to FundExpert.
  • There are no initial charges for purchasing funds, nor switch charges.  However, note that some funds are dual-priced and so carry a bid/offer spread. Please make sure you check the Key Investor Information Documents for each fund for further details.
Investment trusts (ITs, also called Closed Ended Investment Companies) are quoted shares, so trade differently to Unit Trusts (UTs) or Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).  As such, the charging structure is different. 
  • Investment trusts will charge an Annual Management Charge (AMC) as do Unit Trusts.
  • However, Investment Trusts are quoted shares, so an investment trust price will be quoted with a ‘bid offer spread’ – you’ll get a lower price if you’re selling compared to what you’ll pay if you’re buying shares.
  • A dealing fee of £3 is charged by the platform.
  • As Investment Trusts are quoted shares they are also subject to Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (for more on SDRT see here).
  • In some cases, there also may be a fund manager’s buy charge levied on the purchase.
More generic information on Investment Trusts can be found here.

Exchange Traded Products (ETFs, ETNs etc.) are also available.  As with ITs above, there are other charges associated with trading these products.  These include:
  • An Annual Management Charge (AMC) as with Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts.
  • A dealing fee of £3 is charged by the platform.
  • A ‘bid offer spread’ i.e. you’ll get a lower price if you’re selling compared to what you’ll pay if you’re buying shares.
  • On most UK share purchases Stamp Duty is charged at 0.5%.  However, stamp duty is not payable on overseas domiciled ETFs that trade in London.  Stamp duty on UK-domiciled ETFs was abolished in April 2014.

About Gold Membership


Terms & Conditions
FundExpert Gold Membership is available to new Gold Members for £49.99 per month.  You can cancel at any time.  If you cancel within the first month the subscription will end immediately. 
 
We currently only support direct debit payments via our third-party provider: GoCardless. You will need a UK billing address in order to take out a Gold Membership.

Cancellations
You may cancel your membership at any time.  This can be done either by contacting us directly (support@fundexpert.co.uk) or by cancelling the direct debit mandate directly with your bank.  If you do decide to cancel please do drop us an email with your reasons for cancelling (you can use the link above).  It does help us improve the service for other Gold Members.


General Admin


I have money to invest but can't use a computer very well.  Can I speak to you on the phone please?
FundExpert is a non-advised, self-directed website. We do not a provide telephone service as experience suggests that most telephone calls are from those seeking advice.  FundExpert provides guidance only, not advice.  If you are interested in an advised service there is more information available here.

Can I sign up to FundExpert if I live overseas?
Under current regulation, the website and also our selected platform provider (Fidelity FundsNetwork) can only accept those who are UK residents, UK Tax payers, or they are crown employees serving overseas.
                                                                                               
I want to change my email address or password
Please email us to change your email address.   If you want to change your password, please click here.

I'm not receiving emails from FundExpert
Please make sure that the email address that you used to register for FundExpert is the email address that you are checking.  Often, members will have multiple email addresses and our emails will only be able to go to one email address - the one that you used to set up your account.

Please note that if you have a Yahoo or BT Internet email address you may need to add our emails to your safe senders list.

This is because BT operate an email filter that can stop you receiving emails without you actually realising. 
 
As well as the generic spam filters run by email programs like Outlook, BT also have filters that can prevent emails from reaching Outlook in the first place.
 
You can log in to your BT account to check these spam traps and also edit these filters to allow emails to come through by using the Safe Senders feature.  BT have quite a good walkthrough that takes you through the steps to do this.
 
 
 
In order to receive FundExpert emails, the address you want to add to the Safe Senders list is: support@fundexpert.co.uk
 
If you are already receiving our emails then you shouldn’t need to do anything. 
 
How do I cancel my membership?
You may cancel your membership at any time.  This can be done either by contacting us directly (support@fundexpert.co.uk) or by cancelling the direct debit mandate directly with your bank.  If you do decide to cancel please do drop us an email with your reasons for cancelling (you can use the link above).  It does help us improve the service for other Gold Members.


Fund Help


How often are your ratings updated?
Our fund ratings are updated on the first working day of each month, and usually refresh by mid-day.

What’s the difference between a 4 and 5-star fund?
Generally, we would suggest holding both 4- and 5-star funds. However, over the period any 5-star funds will have outperformed any 4-star funds, thus giving them a higher star rating.

I bought a fund rated 5-star recently, and now it is dropped to a SELL recommendation, what should I do?
We have covered that on our blog, which you can find here.

What is hidden value?
These are funds that we have researched for an extended period and, in our view, have the potential to offer investors compelling value whatever their Dynamic star rating.  A fund could be hidden value for a number of reasons.  For instance, the fund may:
  • Expose investors to long term positive trends e.g. urbanisation, industrialisation or favourable demographics in a particular country.
  • Be a consistent above average performer, while not necessarily being the best performer vs. its peers on a Dynamic basis.
  • Offer consistent, above average performance while taking below average risk 
  • Focus on what is cheap or...
  • It should be well positioned to exploit a bounce after sharp market falls.
We will identify these as they come along.  Our suggestion is that these sorts of funds should not exceed 20-30% of a portfolio. 

How often should I review my investments?
This is down to personal choice, but our research suggests that every 6 months is the best timescale. Our Dynamic Fund Ratings are based on a 6-month review cycle.

I cannot find the fund I wish to invest into on FundExpert
We only show the rating of funds that are offered through the platform behind FundExpert, Fidelity FundsNetwork. As a general rule, we only show funds that are greater than £50million in size. Moreover, do search for the fund manually using a keyword in the search bar, if you are still struggling then do get in contact with us (support@fundexpert.co.uk) and we will see if we can find what you are looking for.

What is the difference between ‘Acc’ units and ‘Inc’ units?
Whether you purchase Income (Inc) or Accumulation (Acc) units really depends on whether you will look to take income from the fund at some point in the near future. Funds with ‘inc’ share class represent the fact that any income or dividend payment will be distributed to each investor, and the income will not be automatically re-invested. ‘Acc’ share class signifies that any income or dividend payment will automatically be re-invested, and will essentially ‘top-up’ your current holding of that fund.

What are ‘bid’ and ‘offer’ prices? What do they mean for investors?
The bid/offer spread is the difference between the offer price (the price you pay to buy) and the bid price (the price at which you can sell).  The offer price will be higher than the bid price.  Some funds will have a wider spread which will tend to be a reflection of the costs an investment manager incurs for trading the underlying holdings of a fund.  If the holdings are very illiquid (think of physical property or smaller companies) then the costs will be higher and hence the spread will tend to be wider.  Please ensure you have read the Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs) before investing.

Why is the ‘Best Fund’ for each sector not top of the ‘All funds’ table for each sector?
The ‘best fund(s)’ of each sector are updated monthly. Therefore, whichever fund has had the greatest previous 6-month performance from before the date that we update the funds, will be under the ‘best fund(s)’ for each respective sector.

Whereas the ‘all funds’ data is updated every day. Hence why the ‘Best fund’ may not be top of the ‘All funds’ intraday table, however it does mean it has had the strongest 6-month performance within its sector when we determine each sectors ‘best fund’ at the beginning of each month.

Why are income recommendations sometimes marked as a SELL on our rating system?
Our fund rating system is designed to highlight outstanding funds for growth (or strictly speaking total return, as any reinvested income is part of the “growth”). This rating immediately tells you whether a fund should be bought or sold based on the probability of superior returns going forward. The rating is based on our Dynamic Fund Selection, explained here in more detail.

Our Dynamic Fund Selection is a form of momentum investing, which means buying an investment (in this case a fund) performing well today in the likelihood that it will continue performing well tomorrow. In contrast, if you are investing for income, we judge whether a fund is good or bad over a much longer time period, where there is clear evidence of a commitment to providing a steady, and growing, income stream. The result is that a top-class fund for generating income in the long term will not have much correlation with a growth fund selected for its shorter-term potential. 

If you are interested in income investing then do have a look at our income tool.

Does FundExpert produce investment trust research?
Currently we do not produce as in-depth research for investment trusts as we currently do for unit trusts/OEICs. We have produced a number of interesting blogs & articles relating to the effectiveness of Dynamic Fund Ratings for investment trusts which can be found in the blog section of our site, or alternatively search for ‘Investment trust’ in the search bar.


Transferring your investments to FundExpert

 
Can I move my existing Cash ISAs to FundExpert?
Yes, you can transfer them into Stock & Shares ISAs and invest in funds. However, under current legislation you cannot then transfer the investment back to a cash ISA.  To begin the transfer process please visit this page.

Can I move my existing Stocks and Shares ISAs to FundExpert?
Yes, more information and our transfer tool can be found here.

Can existing investment funds, held outside of ISA be moved to FundExpert?
Yes, but only using the re-registration process. More information have a look here.

I have existing investments with Fidelity FundsNetwork. How do I register these with FundExpert?
Full information can be found here.


Making a fund purchase


How to make a purchase
You can purchase funds on FundExpert and these will be held on the Fidelity FundsNetwork platform.  You can hold funds in a general investment account, ISA or pension.  You can also transfer funds in to Fidelity from an external account.  More on that here.

I am a UK citizen living overseas, can I invest via FundExpert?
Under current regulation, the website and also our selected platform provider (Fidelity FundsNetwork) can only accept those who are UK residents, UK Tax payers, or they are crown employees serving overseas.

I purchased funds recently and had received paperwork for them.  However, the funds are yet appeared in My Portfolio on the FundExpert website.
Each purchase made through FundExpert is made via Fidelity FundsNetwork (FFN) as the platform provider, and is subject to a 14 day cancellation period. During this period, FFN limit FundExpert's ability to display funds that have been purchased.  This is done to avoid any possible problems involving the cancellation period.

Can I buy Investment Trusts on FundExpert?
We're working with Fidelity to start offering these investments through FundExpert.  They can often be identified by "Ord" in the fund name, although this is not a hard and fast rule.  
Please note that they trade differently to Unit Trusts and Open Ended Investment Collectives (UTs & OEICs).  For more information on this see the charges section.

Switch Funds Tool
Login to your account and go to My Portfolio.  Click on Switch Funds below your holdings to start the process.
Please note, if you have set up a monthly savings plan for the fund you are switching from you will need to let us know if you want that changed too by sending us an email.

How do I sell my funds?
Inside of an ISA: you can switch your investments into cash, which will be held in the cash management account on Fidelity (this is called the Fidelity Product Cash Account" as it sits within the ISA tax wrapper).  If you wish to liquidate your holdings and withdraw funds please do inform us and also contact Fidelity FundsNetwork directly, as this needs to be done in your secure portal directly with Fidelity FundsNetwork.  We do not hold client money.

In an investment account: you can switch your investments into the Fidelity Product Cash Account.  As with an ISA, to liquidate and withdraw funds please do inform us and also contact Fidelity FundsNetwork directly, as this needs to be done in your secure portal on Fidelity FundsNetwork.

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