Gumtree co-founder launches platform to shake up the Online Investment Sector
The online investment services sector appealing to people with smaller sums is set to be shaken up by this week’s launch of a new British digital financial service, InvestEngine, which designs bespoke expertly managed portfolios for people with as little as £2,000 to invest.
The brainchild of Gumtree co-founder, Simon Crookall, InvestEngine (web platform with an app launching in the coming weeks) has a flat fee of 0.45% per annum, making it one of the lowest fixed rates available, with no further fees or charges. It is the only UK automated investment manager using a ‘buy and hold’* approach (less room for human error) and to take full custody of customers’ assets – essentially, safeguarding and looking after people’s money in-house instead of relying on third parties/intermediaries to manage investments. For customers this means greater control, lower fees and transparency.
According to Simon – who has co-founded InvestEngine with his sister Joanna Crookall, CEO of award-winning independent investment management firm Ramsey Crookall – core to the business is fairness and accessibility. “After selling my tech businesses, I gravitated back to financial services and I could immediately see there was a real opportunity for a lower cost solution for people with smaller sums. Everyday people simply weren’t able to access the same level of money management as people with larger sums.
“InvestEngine gives people a regulated, low cost and easy solution for taking control of their own investment into high quality market trackers where all the hard work is done for them. We deal with carefully selected exchange-traded funds (ETFs) combined with proven methodology and innovative technology tracking global markets to deliver diversified investment portfolios across countries and markets – essentially people don’t have all their eggs in one basket,” said Simon.
“The vision for InvestEngine is to become the ultimate destination for investors and savers. Over time our offering will diversify and expand to include services like investment advice, pensions, ISAs, SME business accounts, current savings accounts, cash management tools as well as ethical investing options with truly green portfolios,” Simon explains.
InvestEngine uniquely combines the latest smart technology with over 70 years’ financial experience via its close partnership with Ramsey Crookall (providers of InvestEngine’s broker function) as well as a direct, unique partnership with custodian bank, CREST (also used by the Bank of England), to ensure customers’ investments are held safely and securely. These partnerships are designed to heighten investors’ confidence and avoid additional fees.
Using Nobel Prize winning research techniques, InvestEngine assesses investors against 16 risk profiles – versus other services which have, on average, between three to four profiles – painting a much more accurate picture of each individual investor so portfolios are truly bespoke.
The platform is easy to understand and quick to set up. Prospective investors simply answer a few questions about their aims, how much they would like to invest and the level of risk they’re comfortable with, and InvestEngine gets to work selecting a low fee portfolio representing stocks, bonds and other assets to suit investors’ needs. To boost returns, investors also have the option of topping up their portfolio with monthly instalments.
For additional assurance, InvestEngine’s team of experts monitors each portfolio on an ongoing basis, rebalancing when necessary. Consumers can log in at any time to check performance and withdraw money whenever they like with no exit fees.
InvestEngine is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.