With so much competition amongst the many investment platforms on the market, how do you know if your adviser has put you on the best one possible?
Placing your trust in a financial adviser to invest large sums of your cash through an online platform is a pretty big deal. Naturally, you want to know that you’ve been placed on the very best investment platform possible. But how do you know if the platform you’re on is actually the most fitting one for you? Here we discuss what should be assessed in order to evaluate the suitability of your position.
The most important thing to note is that there is no ‘number one’ platform. Everything is dependent on your own personal situation. Therefore, it’s vital that you outline your objectives with your financial adviser before any decisions are made. AFH have a six-step process as part of the customer journey. During this process, your personal circumstances will be carefully assessed in order to create a bespoke financial plan. The key aspects that will be considered are your attitude to risk, long-term saving goals, what you can afford to invest and how long you can commit to this. Each of these considerations could potentially have a significant impact on investment performance and will, therefore, be paramount in deciding the most appropriate recommendation for you.
Further to this, it’s also worth noting that our recent decision to abolish platform fees is a compelling proposition for clients as it means there is one less element detracting from your investment. This then leads us to identifying the distinguishing features amongst the varying platforms available. The key aspects to consider when selecting a platform are:
- fund availability
- investment service levels
- portfolio size
In terms of fund selection, some platforms are geared towards clients who may wish to have a more bespoke portfolio. For example, a client wishing to invest in ethical funds would need to ensure they’re on a platform which offers a diverse fund range. Service levels are also important to bear in mind, as this concerns how much involvement the client has in their investment management. For example, clients who are happy to have their portfolio managed by an investment professional may be recommended a platform where discretionary portfolio management is an option.
Alternatively, some clients may prefer to ‘sign off’ on any investment decisions and so wouldn’t necessarily be recommended the same platform. Some clients have a range of investments in different tax wrappers (i.e. pensions and ISAs) and would prefer to have all products on one platform for ease of administration. This may also affect the final decision regarding the client’s chosen platform.
In order to diversify themselves from other platform providers on the market, some platforms have additional functionality which may or may not be important to an individual client. This could include the way that income is paid or tools available through the platform. These features and benefits are taken into account in reference to an individual’s needs when selecting the appropriate platform.
It’s, therefore, safe to say that there’s not one simple answer to this question. Ultimately, a thorough conversation with your financial adviser is crucial in order to agree on the most suitable solution for you.
If you’d like to discuss your portfolio, or would like to know whether you could benefit from the services AFH has to offer, please give us a call or fill in our contact form to speak with one of our independent financial advisers.
This article is for generic information only and is not suggesting a suitable investment strategy for you. You should seek independent financial advice that takes your individual circumstances into account prior to proceeding with any course of action.