Read time: 2 mins Investing

Investment platforms: The good, the bad and the terrible

  • What should you look for?
  • What do their services include?
  • Is it right for you?
  • What do they charge?
  • Is now the right time to invest?

As a newbie investor, it’s hard to know which investment platform to trust with your money.

There’s no shortage of options. Type ‘investment platforms’ into Google and you will be swamped with over 140 million results!

Fortunately, there are some reliable ways to separate the good providers from the bad and (gulp) the terrible. Check out our top five questions to ask yourself below

1. Should I invest at this time?

  • Do you spend more than 15% of your salary paying off credit cards or personal loans?
  • Do you plan to withdraw any money from your investment in the first five years?
  • Are you uncomfortable with the prospect of losing money on your investment?

Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions? Then our advice is to wait until your circumstances change before making an investment.

These are the kind of questions every good investment platform should ask you before investing your money.

a google search for investing.

But while many providers ask the right questions, they often recommend you invest your money almost regardless of your answers.

By contrast, evestor will work with you to put together the best financial plan for your circumstances and goals. And you can book an appointment with a financial adviser to talk through your options at no extra cost.

2. Style over substance?

Many investment platforms now offer all-singing all-dancing online tools that whip up an investment plan in a flash.

Answer a couple of generic questions and hey presto: pretty graphs and charts explaining how much you might expect to make over the next few years.

It looks great, but can it really be so simple to create the right investment plan?

Sensible investment requires careful consideration, including:

  • what do you have saved?
  • what do you have to spend?
  • what are your current financial commitments?
  • what is your level of unsecured debt?
  • how much risk are you willing to take?
  • what are your goals

There’s more to making the right decisions about your financial future than clicking a few buttons on a whizzy web tool. To develop an investment plan that fits you like a glove, you’ll need expert help.

That’s why, when you join evestor, you have the opportunity to speak to a financial adviser, who will help you invest your money wisely.

3. It costs how much?

As you may have noticed, nothing in life comes for free.

It’s the same when you make an investment. But some providers take a larger slice of the pie than others.

These fees come by many names. Here’s a few to be wary of (head to the FAQs section of any investment platform’s website to see what fees they charge):

  • management charges
  • administration charges
  • platform fees
  • entry and exit fees
  • advice fees

The good news is that evestor comes with no up-front costs, just one fixed annual fee of less than 0.5%. To ensure you’re keeping as much of what you make as possible, it’s worth taking the time to understand from the get-go exactly what you’ll be paying your provider.

a clock counting down.

4. Can I keep track of my investment?

As a newbie investor, you’ll get peace of mind from being able to keep close track of the performance of your investment.

So, before you choose an investment platform, make sure they provide instant online or mobile access to all the key numbers, documents and support related to your account.

We have developed a mobile app that places everything at your fingertips – including a live chat feature where you can put your questions to our expert support team.

5. Is it legitimate?

How can you check whether an investment platform can be trusted with your money?

One way is to see who they work with. Here at evestor, we work with three of the biggest asset management companies in the world: Vanguard, Fidelity and Blackrock.

You should also make sure the provider is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is accessible to evestor customers and may provide you with protection up to a certain limit.

Finally, for ultimate peace of mind, you should enter the name of the provider into the Financial Services Register to ensure they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.