In periods of stock market shock, such as has been experienced recently with the Coronavirus pandemic, the natural focus of attention is on fund values and investment performance. But what about charges? Ongoing running costs are a drag on performance, and at all times, questions should be asked; what am I paying for? What am I getting?

Whether pension funds or personal investments, it is crucial that all costs are identified in advance and that you are getting value for money. Trustee, adviser, investment platform and fund charges are normal, but great care should be taken over any potential hidden costs.

These could be investment charges and commissions not disclosed at the outset.

The lesson to learn is always ask questions of your service providers and read the small print. Good firms provide good service and good value for the fees they charge and will be more than happy to be transparent and discuss these with you. The time to worry is when this conversation is left to the small print - call time and move on.