With interest in DIY investing on the rise following changes to the way financial advisers charge, discount broker Willis Owen has reported more than double the number of new customers so far in 2013 compared to the same period last year. This comes as Willis Owen announces the launch of Your Space, a new free online tool for DIY investors.

So far in 2013, since the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review, the number of new clients at Willis Owen has increased by 117% on the same period last year. According to Willis Owen, this new generation of ‘go-it-alone’ investors are demanding more information to ensure they can make informed investment decisions. By offering greater access to the makeup of their portfolio and the way it is performing, Willis Owen believes users will be better equipped to construct portfolios capable of delivering long-term growth.

Jason Chapman, Managing Director at Willis Owen, commented: “The investment landscape is changing dramatically post-RDR, with many more weighing up the DIY route. The problem is that many won’t have selected their own funds and constructed their own portfolios like this before – and the prospect of going it alone will be pretty daunting.

This tool will be a fantastic aid to filling the information gap. Building your own portfolio requires research and time, but we also want customers to make decisions that support them over the long-term rather than just the next few months. By allowing users to track fund performances over time, we are arming them with the information they need to make informed choices.

By offering a consolidated view of assets both on and off the Cofunds platform, Your Space offers users a clear snapshot of their investments. Your Space allows investors to monitor and evaluate their investment portfolio in a number of ways, including:

* A weekly value and holdings update, allowing users to see how their mix of funds is spread across the various IMA sectors and how much they have invested with each fund manager

* A ‘Portfolio Scan’ to reviewing investment performance

* Viewing portfolios both by provider (Cofunds or Direct) and product type.

* Access to new research, valuations, performance charts

* Fund Fact Sheets and Interactive Charting Tools specific to individual portfolios

Jason Chapman added: “Picking the right funds, knowing how they perform over time, understanding your risk/reward balance – these are all important considerations for people when planning their financial future. Your Space will allow us to better understand what our customers prioritise the most, which aspects of their portfolio they are most keen to view and monitor, and the ways in which they prefer to do so. This will help us ensure we provide the service our customers want from us.”

Investing - FreeFoto.com

Investing – FreeFoto.com

Key facts about other Willis Owen services:

* Access to over 1500 funds from all the major investment houses

* Ability to invest within an ISA wrapper, a Unit Trust or an Open Ended Investment Company

* Standard Initial charges generally between 0 and 0.5% – more than half of the funds have 0% initial charge

* Free ISA transfer service

* Your Space and Fund Space, free online tools allowing investors to compare fund information and performance

* Access to an ISA Cash Reserve fund to park your money before you invest

* Annual ISA guide

* Investor Support Desk where you can speak to a real person not a computer, for friendly, helpful guidance 24 hours a day, seven days a week

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