Robo-Advice Platform With Cheaper Fees Undercuts Rivals

Gumtree entrepreneur Simon Crookall wants to lure investors to his online platform offering cheap robo-advice.

For as little as a £2,000 investment to open an account, he is looking to steal business from rival robo-advice services by charging a flat fee of 0.45% a year and no other costs.

His platform InvestEngine pledges to mirror the performance of major global indices, including stock and commodity markets while avoiding too much exposure to a single company, industry or country.

Competitors Nutmeg and Wealthify have annual fees of between 0.4% and 0.7% plus additional fund charges that depend on the size of investment.

Crookall made his fortune selling classified advertising site Gumtree to eBay in 2005.

Lower cost solution

InvestEngine is a new collaboration with his sister Joanna, CEO of investment manager Ramsay Crookall, which is behind the robo-advice platform.

The platform promotes a buy and hold strategy regardless of market volatility, arguing the policy reduces the chances of human error in picking investments.

“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,” said Crookall.

“Everyday people simply weren’t able to access the same level of money management as people with larger sums.

“We deal with carefully selected exchange-traded funds 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.”

How the platform works

The InvestEngine web site explains how the platform works.

“When you’ve got InvestEngine driving your investments, you can be confident there’s some serious power working on your behalf. Our team, approach, technology and low fees are geared to making your money work harder to deliver smarter returns, whatever your risk profile,” says the web site.

“We construct robust, globally-diversified portfolios using a carefully selected blend of exchange traded funds tailored to different risk appetites. The portfolio you receive is determined by your personal situation – your goals, investor profile, time frame and tolerance of risk. Composed of stocks, bonds and alternatives, the weight of each asset class in your portfolio depends on whether you favour a conservative, moderate or aggressive strategy.”

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