I was talking with a prospective client yesterday and he was literally obsessing about charges. He wanted a deal, a cheap deal for his retirement fund which was more than half a million Euro. It was like he was shopping for a TV.
"Have you ever retired before I asked?"
"No, I retired two weeks ago and I NEED to sort this out"
I thought of someone at the airport departure gates desperately trying to figure out which plane to get on when they had no idea of WHERE they wanted to go
I tried to explain that Irish pensions are not covered by disclosure regulations intended to inform investors of the real cost of investing and that therefore the "annual management charge" he had been quoted wasn't the real cost. He didn't believe me.
So, I opened up the KID document for the Investment Bond version (which is subject to the EU disclosure Packaged Retail Insurance and Investment Directive) of the fund he was considering although the pension version of the same fund isn't covered by these regulations. Well done regulators.
"There you can see the charge is higher" I said
He didn't believe me.
In fact he said;"It seems that I would be safer with a bigger firm than with the options you are suggesting"
The company he was considering has Assets Under Management in Ireland of €28 Billion. Wow! Sounds a lot doesn't it?
But I explained that in Global Terms that didn't really count for very much.
I made this graphic as at the end of December 2017 but the point is still valid
Vanguard currently have Assets Under Management of $7.1 Trillion and Pershing has over $2 Trillion in custody assets. Now, that's big, really big.
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