Personally I look at historic performance net fees.
I don’t care if they have high fees if they can prove their worth, lots of investment trusts will be higher on the fee sides of things but a few good ones I do hold in high regard and prefer them over any trackers.
Any fund with an entry or exit fee I tend to avoid, fund managers make excellent margin already so it makes me worried they feel the need to pass on their costs to me, the management fee should be all they need for the privilege and frankly the cost of me entering your fund is the cost of doing business.
Negative ongoing charges and transaction costs are interesting, you see this more in the states but it’s coming over to the UK a bit more now. This is where the fund is generating more revenue than expected from other activities and uses it to cover their management fee, if they are so successful with the other revenue streams e.g. stock lending, they will pay back the holders of the fund. The dream is to find a passive tracker that fully replicates the index and then pays it’s clients for holding it.
In the end of the day I focus on how much money is left in my pocket. I don’t mind paying 1% if you give me 10% returns year on year. I’d rather have that than get 3% and pay 0.1% in fees.