It’s not a silly question at all. Think off the phrase ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.
The financial markets and regulators, although they try to be transparent, are unnecessarily complicated and can provide too much detail it can become confusing even for those in the industry.
To try and simplify it, you can get open or closed end funds that pool investors money for a small fee with a view of reducing costs and providing a better return for investors.
212 have a number of Vanguard ETFs. These are exchange traded funds. These are open ended, which means there is no limit of supply.
If the ETF holds 100 companies at an equal weight, so if you invest £100 in the ETF, it will invest £1 into 100 companies. It all depends on the ‘ETF’ strategy.
Back to your question, there is a charge for Vanguard running the ETF. This will include Vanguard’s fee, plus regulatory fees for say marketing the ETF in France/Germany/UK and so on. The ETF will also be audited once a year, and will produce regular reports of its performance and holdings.
The costs for these, all inclusive are called an ‘Ongoing Charge’. This is essentially baked in or included in the value of the shares you buy.
This is a popular Vanguard ETF - VWRP
It’s fees are 0.22% a year, and baked into it ts NAV/price.
Then you get platform and trading fees. How much does it cost you to hold or buy this ETF.
Trading212 do not charge you a platform fee(for holding this ETF), nor do they charge you a trading fee, unless your account is in a different currency, in which case it would be a 0.15% FX fee, but you could find an ETF in your own currency.
For comparison, Fidelity or Hargreaves would charge you approx £10 every time you trade, and a 0.35%-0.45% account fee on top.
Does this help explain / make sense?
Also - I think the Vanguard platform fee is 0.25% but not checked it in a while.