With interest rates soaring, it’s easy to think I’ll just leave my money in the bank. However, with savings rates far below mortgage rates, and inflation continuing to erode the value of savings, many of us want our money to work harder for us.
Investing your money is a great opportunity to take control and get returns from your hard-earned savings. Being new to investing can be scary, but there are some great investment platforms out there ready to help. It’s all about finding the right fit for your investing needs.
What to look for in an investment platform
Approach: Platforms vary in how they invest your money. Talking to a person is part of the process for some, while for others everything is fully digital with no human interaction. Decide which approach you are comfortable with and choose a platform that suits your preference.
Education: Platforms offer a range of learning material in the form of video clips, infographics and guides. Look for a platform that offers education in the way you want to digest it.
Support: If you have a problem or question, do you want to talk to a human being on the phone, or message someone on a live chat? Again, it’s about finding a platform that offers the approach that suits your needs.
Accessibility: Is keeping track of your account, or making changes when you are out and about important to you? If yes, look for a platform available in app format.
Everyone is different so it’s about finding the platform that is going to allow you to take this journey in a way that works for you.
Top platforms for new investors
The Bestinvest platform majors on coaching and support. It’s unique as it offers free investment coaching with a qualified financial planner, with no obligations, to all customers. It’s on a mission to help support and educate investors, offering a very wide range of educational material in a host of formats.
Bestinvest offers a range of ready-made portfolios for customers who want someone to make investment choices for them, but it also offers full flexibility for customers who want to make the choices themselves. Visit the Bestinvest website.
Moneyfarm is what’s known as a robo-adviser. Customers complete a simple questionnaire, and the platform makes investment decisions on their behalf. It’s a younger, more digitally focused platform, with a lot of new developments and a great mobile app which is easy and intuitive to use. On top of that, Moneyfarm offers a range of support for customers via phone, email or the online chat facility. Visit the Moneyfarm website.
Wealthify is a fellow robo-adviser, so while you won’t be picking your own stocks and shares, you’ll be putting your money in well-known hands as it is owned by Aviva. Wealthify scores consistently highly for customer service on Trustpilot. The team offer contact via telephone, secure message and a responsive live chat.
Wealthify also has a comprehensive question and answer section on the website, as well as regularly updated blog posts for customer education.
Dodl is an app-only investment service offered by platform heavyweight, AJ Bell. Everything in the app is stripped back to keep any choices simple, making it a great option for new investors looking to dip their toe in for the first time. This means its investment choice is narrower than some other platforms, but it includes AJ Bell ready-made funds if you want them to run the investments for you.
While Dodl doesn’t have the online or telephone support of other platforms, it’s an easy to use, low-cost option for those that want to keep investing simple.
5 Hargreaves Lansdown
Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the biggest names in the industry. One of the best things about the platform is the material it produces for customers. It has a very wide range of how-to guides, investing articles, blogs and educational material. The topics go beyond investing, covering other related subjects like personal taxation, meaning it will satisfy the needs of the most information hungry investor.
If you’re looking for a large, established firm and education is a priority, then Hargreaves might be the platform for you. Visit the Hargreaves Lansdown website.
6 Interactive Investor
Much like Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor has been around for a long time, having launched in 1995. A couple of things make Interactive stand out from the crowd. Firstly, it charges a fixed, monthly fee, while most others charge a percentage of the amount invested. Secondly, Interactive launched a new Essentials option, with a lower fee of £4.99pcm, for customers investing under £30k. Interactive also has a very wide change of investment options. If you want to make your own selections, you won’t be stuck for choice!
A strong all rounder with a great investment range and options designed for investor needs. Visit the Interactive Investor website.
To finish up
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