A study by YouGov, on behalf of investment firm Netwealth, showed 37% of those surveyed only knew “most” or “some” of the fees and charges they were paying for wealth management services, while 13% were unclear about any of the fees and charges they were paying.
The survey, of 1,014 adults in May, also revealed investors would no longer tolerate hidden fees, with 72% stating that “transparency around how fees are charged” is now the most important factor when choosing a wealth manager, followed by personal trust (67%) and good investment performance (60%).
Other findings from the research included:
• 32% of investors surveyed felt they did not need financial advice
• 56% saw hassle-free access to information about their investments as the biggest benefit from technology.
• 35% of investors had immediate access to information on the fees they were paying, while 44% could only find it out through their annual (25%), quarterly (14%) or monthly statements (5%)
• 84% of investors agreed that fees mattered to them and they do not like to overpay, but 31% said they were happy with their current provider even though they charged them more than they expected
Charlotte Ransom, chief executive of Netwealth, said: “Our research indicates that traditional wealth managers are taking advantage of their clients’ trust.
“They make it extremely difficult for clients to see how their portfolios are performing and to understand fully both the level and the impact of fees that can have such huge negative consequences on their long term savings.
She added: “Given advances in technology, there is no reason why investors should not be able to access their portfolios in order to see how much they are paying for wealth management services and how their investments are performing.”