And that is the one thing that nobody can predict - not even the highest paid or most skilled intermediary/advisor. Conversely, at least the charges levied are a known quantity and choosing the lowest possible is a good bet on the lowest drag on performance over time. Having said that I'd agree with Alan's point (here and elsewhere) that what might seem like or be presented as a great deal (e.g. QL 1% p.a. only on lump sums or 1% p.a. plus €3.81 per month on regular contributions) may be beaten by other products, possibly those only available on an execution only or advisory basis from some sort of intermediary. Even an execution only customer may need to engage with an intermediary in order to navigate the complex sea of charging structures which are not always made transparent to the general public. Of course others may want to talk to an advisor in order to obtain more wide ranging general financial advice, fact finds etc. in any case. However, somebody who understands a little about investments, the markets, risk/reward profiles, fund selection etc. should not be discouraged from taking the execution only route in my view.he single most important aspect of a pension is the actual fund performance.