Go online and you’ll see there are no shortage of investment management companies offering a wealth of services from ISAs to full portfolio management.
While some have been around for a long time and have deep roots within the financial sector, others are new to this competitive world but that doesn’t mean to say they should be written off just like that.
In fact, many of the newer entrants offer innovative services that are transparent, cost effective and easy to use – something a lot of the old guard have struggled to deliver for many decades.
Here are several newbies that we believe certainly deserve your attention.
Three years ago, Nick Hungerford left his job as a stockbroker and put all his efforts into starting Nutmeg, an online investment management business that does all the hard work for you. Nutmeg was the UK’s first online discretionary wealth manager. It is endorsed by the government and supported by many enthusiastic and loyal users. But what’s so good about them? Well, aside from being able to set up a professional investment portfolio in just 10 minutes with as little as £1,000 they don’t charge a premium for the illusion of a personal relationship and have kept costs to a minimum. All fees are transparent and complicated jargon is left behind in a bid to attract the everyday saver.
And all the hard work seems to be paying off as they’ve attracted media attention from across the world and received numerous positive reviews from professionals. Here are some of them:
- "Nutmeg really called out to me. I felt it could offer a better return on my investment, in a way that suited me." — Darren, business consultant
- "They give me absolute trust that they're on top of my finances — as much as I would be if I was managing it." — Helen, managing director
- "Nutmeg have taken away the burden of managing my money. I feel safe. With Nutmeg, I have an expert investment team." — Fergus, chartered accountant
Money on Toast
Developed in 2012, Money on Toast is a low-cost alternative to the traditional financial advice model and is the online distribution arm of CPN Investment Management. Despite being somewhat new to the financial world, this innovative company has already been recognised by the financial industry winning the “Leading Innovation” award at the UK Platform Awards sponsored by Google.
With thousands of loyal customers and a commitment to providing a market leading investment management and advice service with a focus on ease of use, excellent investment performance and world class customer service they’ve become a top choice for many.
Here are some reviews of the services offered:
- “For sheer breadth of ambition and audacity in breaking moulds – from moving advice online to offering it remotely in 20-minute slices – Money On Toast is leading the way.”
- “Money on Toast goes where most others have feared to tread, into the realm of automated advice. That’s right, if you go through the right process, Money on Toast’s automated robot helper, Doughbot, will helpfully recommend an ISA, a bond, a pension or protection for you.”
- “I don’t know another site which brings so many threads together in one place. It’s glorious.”
Founded at the start of 2014, it’s clear that Strawberry Invest is an extremely new addition to the investment management sector. That said, it’s a company that’s arrived with such confidence and flare that it’s hard to miss and is making its mark on the industry in a unique way. Unlike Nutmeg which angle at doing everything for you, Strawberry Invest offer a do-it-yourself approach providing clients with all the tools they need to make important financial decisions.
Their website is clear, concise and aims not to scare people away with full-spectrum market research or complicated financial insight. An ISA can be opened in just five steps and with a strong social media presence it’s apparent they want to appeal to the masses and not just those who have their heads buried in financial literature from dawn ‘til dusk.
Sure, there’s a wealth of competition out there but founder James Priday seems unfazed stating: “When we looked at the research, it said that [individuals with] £72 billion in investable assets would consider investing via an online platform. Even if we only win a very small amount of that, it would really be a very big thing.”
Here are some reviews of Strawberry Invest:
- “Strawberry Invest has turned thrift into a virtue, with a simple and clean user interface that’s less intimidating to regular savers.”
- “Provides a simple, low-cost way of investing.”
- “Strawberry Invest is certainly for those who would like to start saving and investing, or for people who already invest online and would benefit by transferring to a lower cost and more straightforward platform.”