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 investment hub providing fund research and investing guidance. The core of our research is on Unit Trusts (funds) and Investment Trusts. Our goal is simple, to enable 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 are your charges?

Our Gold Membership is charged as your ‘typical’ subscription service of £29.20 per month. There are no other charges associated with being a Gold Member of FundExpert.

You can cancel at any time. 

We currently only support direct debit payments via our third-party provider: GoCardless. You will need a UK billing address to obtain a Gold Membership.

How do I cancel my Gold Membership?

You may cancel your membership at any time, if you cancel within the first month the subscription will end immediately. Cancellations can be processed 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, as it genuinely helps 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 can only accept those who are UK residents, UK Tax payers, or they are crown employees serving overseas.

How do I change my email address or password?

Please email us (support@fundexpert.co.uk) to change your email address. If you want to change your password, please click here.

Why am I 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 BT (or Yahoo/AOL) 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.

For BT Internet email accounts:
https://www.bt.com/help/email/using-bt-mail-s-anti-spam-features

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. 

Fund Help

How often are your ratings updated?

Dynamic Fund Ratings: These are updated at the beginning of each month on a best endeavours basis (usually on the first working day of the month). When the updates are in progress you will see a warning posted on the homepage of the site.

Income Fund Ratings: These are updated annually in Feb/March of each year. 

Vintage Fund Ratings: These are updated annually in July – and look back at the last 10 years of data. To achieve a Vintage Rating a fund must be in the top 40% of performers in its own sector 60% of the time. You can find the latest Vintage Report here.

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 6-month 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 this in detail on a blog from 2018, which you can find here.

Does FundExpert produce Investment Trust research?

We previously integrated Investment Trusts into some aspects our research, but in Autumn 2021 we decided to give them the same level of analysis through the tools on site as we do with Unit Trusts.

The majority of our Dynamic Portfolios are still centred around Unit Trusts, but we constantly test and monitor whether Investment Trusts can improve our current Dynamic Portfolios.

Why do you not provide star ratings for Investment Trusts?

For many of the sectors within the AIC Universe (the Investment Trust universe) there aren’t enough trusts to make a star rating meaningful. When using any tables where you have visibility of both UT’s and IT’s, you can usually assign an IT with a Dynamic Rating yourself by comparing the 6-month performance to a UT from a similar sector.

What is the difference between a Unit Trust and an Investment Trust?

Unit Trusts are the most common types of collective investment scheme in the UK and are commonly referred to as open-ended funds. The price of a fund always reflects the value of its holdings. When more investors want to buy into the fund than sell, the manager issues more units. When the opposite is true, the manager cancels units.

Investment Trusts are effectively companies that are run by a fund manager and is also backed by an independent board. As a closed-ended fund, Investment Trusts have a fixed number of shares they can issue, which means they do not have to sell assets when investors sell their shares.

As we are receiving performance data once a day, you may miss out on intraday price swings for Investment Trusts if you have set a Stop-Loss.

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.

Why can't I find the fund, or specific share class, I wish to invest into on FundExpert?

We show the rating of funds that are offered through our research partners Financial Express Fund Info. As a general rule, we only show funds that are greater than £50million in size and we also exclude ETFs. Furthermore, we only show the main share class for each fund. 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.

A fund you display on FundExpert is not available on my platform, what do I do?

All of our fund data comes from Financial Express Fund Info, we have the widest universe available to us from our data provider so that this situation is kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, from time to time you may not be able to locate a specific fund on your platform, if this is the case or would like us to check then please email us and we’ll be happy to help.

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 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.

Stop Losses

How do I add a Stop-Loss to one of my funds?

To find out how to add, edit or remove a Stop-Loss alert, please head to our dedicated Stop-Loss Guides page.

At what level should I set my stop loss?

The stop loss level you should set will depend on your attitude to risk, or in other words how much you feel comfortable losing – this will differ from person to person. Our research suggests the following to be optimal:

  • an 8% “early warning” stop loss to draw attention to market events and your investments, and then…

  • a 10% “trigger” stop loss

Selling after a 5% (or even lower) fall is likely to whip-saw you in and out of markets which could be costly.

How do stop losses work with investment trusts and Unit Trusts, respectively?

We receive performance data (and subsequently send out stop loss alerts) once a day. Therefore, you may miss out on intraday price swings for stop losses set on Investment Trusts, as Investment Trusts are exchange traded investments.

Conversely, Unit Trusts are priced just once a day so there are no intraday pricing concerns.

Should I reset my stop losses to reflect current prices or keep them set at the original price?

The main priority with a stop loss is to protect your initial capital, in which case keeping your stop loss at the original level is fine.

Ideally though, if you have the time and are willing to be more proactive, you can increase the stop loss level as the value of the fund increases. You don’t have to increase it for every daily move, but more for notably profitable periods (for example after a 10% gain).

When should I buy back in having applied a stop loss?

Generally, we suggest a 30-day buy-back process, within which there are three options:

Option 1 – 30 days later buy back into the same fund you previously sold and hold until the next review (if you feel comfortable about buying back in, and you still have more than a month before the next review point).

Option 2 – stay in cash until the next review (if you feel all-round nervous about buying back in, and/or are within a month of the next review point).

Option 3 – 30 days later buy back into a top-rated fund that is different to the one you previously sold and hold until the next review (middle ground between Plan A and Plan B, provided you still have more than a month before the next review point).

Portfolio Changes

I was previously following the Dynamic 50/50 Portfolio, why can’t I find it on the site?

We made some changes to our portfolios in January 2021, which included removing the Dynamic 50/50 portfolio. This portfolio is a combination of Dynamic UK Blended and Dynamic World ex-UK, so if you are still keen on following the Dynamic 50/50 portfolio then you have the ingredients that you need. You’ll take the best three funds from each sub-portfolio, making a total of 6 funds.

Hidden Value

What makes a fund Hidden Value?

Below are five possible criteria that a fund may possess in order for us to mark it as Hidden Value.

1.  Expose investors to long term positive trends e.g. urbanisation, favourable demographics, or emerging technology. This could include funds which sit in the eclectic Specialist sector, or perhaps an alternative energy fund.

 2.  Offer consistent performance while taking below average risk. This might apply in a theoretically lower risk sector, such as Absolute Return and also Property.

3.  Focus on what is cheap taking a longer view. This might be certain types of funds, such as Value-style funds in the UK and Emerging Market equities in 2020.

4.  Focus on what is cheap without good reason in the shorter term. This might mean it is well positioned to exploit a bounce after sharp market falls, such as Spring 2020.

5.  Have a different approach to most peers in a way which adds something new to your portfolio. This is most likely to arise in lower risk sectors, such as bond funds.

How often is your Hidden Value list updated?

We review the list at the beginning of every month, though it is unlikely there will be any major chopping and changing of the list.

Should I invest in Hidden Value funds if I am an income investor?

You may notice that our Dynamic and Vintage ratings for growth funds don't tally with our income fund selections. Dynamic and Vintage ratings indicate growth potential, and do not give any indication of a fund's ability to provide income, this is the same for our Hidden Value selection below as well. To select funds for income, take a look at our Income Tool.

There was a fund on the Hidden Value List last month, but this month it is now marked as 5-star, why is this?

We have a shortlist of funds that meet our Hidden Value criteria, and as mentioned in an earlier question, this list won’t change too much. However, if a fund on our shortlist is 5-star for a certain month then we will label it on the site as 5-star rather than Hidden Value, as Gold Members will be able to see it currently has positive momentum characteristics.

If this fund then slips down to any other star rating in the month after, it will then be marked as Hidden Value and will appear on our Hidden Value List.

A fund not listed as Hidden Value has far superior 6-month performance to one that is marked as Hidden Value, why is this?

Hidden Value is less concerned with Dynamic Fund Ratings (or momentum), instead we only mark a fund as Hidden Value if it meets one of our criteria stated above. As you can see, none of the five criteria mention momentum. It is always important to check which criteria a specific fund has met in order to be marked as Hidden Value. For example, if it meets criteria number 1, it’s short term performance (whether it be 3 or 6 month) is not of great concern for that specific fund.