Higher fees don't mean better returns: report

Higher fees don't mean better returns: report

Australian managed funds that charge higher fees don’t always offer better performance, according to a new report by Canstar.

Canstar's 2017 Managed Funds Star Ratings report compared 165 products offered to Australian investors and found that higher management fees don’t guarantee better performance.

By plotting the 10 year return versus the total cost for nine different asset classes, Canstar's report found no correlation between the two metrics for the managed funds analysed.

“A fund may tell you their higher fee is justified because they are more active in investing your money, and the high fee is cancelled out by higher returns,” said the report.

“[Fund managers] might say that their fees are tiered based on how much you have invested, so as your investment grows you naturally pay more for its management, but ultimately, you should check the numbers for yourself before you invest.”  

Canstar said there was “more to life than chasing the lowest fees” but that investors should still be mindful that fees can eat in to returns if the investor isn’t careful.

The research additionally found that multi-sector aggressive managed funds had the highest average fees, charging a management-expense ratio (MER) of 1.2 per cent, with Australian cash and fixed income’s average 0.47 per cent MER the lowest.

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