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Question

What are Funds?

Answer

Funds (such as unit trusts and OEICs) give you an easy way to diversify your portfolio. They also save you the trouble of researching individual stocks, bonds and other assets on your own.
With the benefits of professional fund management, funds are a good choice for beginners or ‘buy and hold' investors taking a long term view, as well as more experienced investors.
Bear in mind that the value of funds can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you initially invested.

Why invest in funds?
Funds set out to provide an income, generate capital growth or a combination of the two depending upon their investment strategy. By investing in funds, you can access:

• Instant diversification
• Expert management
•Wide range of investment objectives
A selection of funds can comprise your entire portfolio and individual funds can be used to gain exposure to a specific market or type of investment asset.
If you are not sure about the risks or feel you need help choosing a fund, you should talk to an independent financial adviser.
Funds: how they work
• Funds are pooled investments; a large number of people buy units in a fund and the fund manager invests this money into shares, bonds or other assets. This gives you access to many investments in one, as well as the advantages of professional management.
• Whether you are looking for income, capital growth or exposure to a particular region or industry, you can find a fund to match almost any investment goal.
• Access the UK's leading fund managers through Barclays Stockbrokers Funds Market. Over 2,500 funds are available with no initial service charges, saving you between 1% and 5.5%.
• Funds will charge fees to cover management and administration including the annual management charge (AMC). It applies to new or transferred in investments into eligible funds from the Funds Market .
• Funds work best as a medium or long-term investment, so you should look to hold them for at least five years. However, you are not tied in for any length of time and you can sell whenever you want though you must accept that may get back less than you invested.
• You can hold funds in a MarketMaster®, Investment ISA or Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
• If you hold only funds from our Funds Market in a MarketMaster®, ISA or SIPP account, there are no account charges.

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