Client News

• New platform allows unlimited free unit trust and OEIC trading

A new online direct to consumer (D2C) investment platform, Strawberry Invest, has today been launched to provide private investors with a simple, low cost way of investing. Strawberry aims to make investing accessible to a wide range of people through the provision of a user-friendly platform and simple educational material.

Strawberry Invest (http://www.strawberryinvest.com) is 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.

Investments can be held within a general investment account (GIA), Stocks & Shares ISA (ISA) and a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). An account can be opened with a lump sum of £1,000 or regular contributions of £100 monthly for the first year. Subsequent contributions must be a minimum of £100.

Strawberry allows investors unlimited free Unit Trust and OEIC trading from a wide range of over 1,500 ‘clean’ share class funds. For ETFs, Investment Trusts and share dealing, investors will be charged £12.50 per trade.

Annual Platform Charges (minimum £30 per year)

- £0-£50,000 0.40%
- £50,001-£250,000 0.35%
- £250,001-£1m 0.20%
- Over £1m 0.10%
(There is a fixed platform admin charge of £10)

As an example, Mrs. Smith has £25,000 in a Stocks and Shares ISA with an online investment broker who charges £8 on all trades. She wants to diversify her ISA portfolio across a number of collective investments so she decides to invest into 12 Unit Trusts. Dealing charges are £8 per fund, so it costs £96 to set up the portfolio. In Year 1, she decides to sell four funds and buy four different ones; eight deals costs £64. Her first year costs therefore total £160 (£96 initial purchase costs plus £64 to make the changes).

If Mrs. Smith had used Strawberry to create the same portfolio, the all-in cost to her would be just £110 (0.4% x£25,000 + £10 fixed administration charge) and she could have made as many Unit Trust and OEIC trades as she wanted.

James Priday, managing director, Strawberry Invest, says: “Strawberry’s aim is straight forward: to provide investors with a simple and low cost platform to control their investments. With such low interest rates on cash, people are increasingly looking online to improve their financial knowledge and are becoming more aware of the need to save for their futures and retirement. Added to this increased desire to ‘do it yourself’, technological advances are making it as easy as ever to invest and save online.

“With the right information, accessible online technology, and a more interactive form of saving, i.e. investing, people will put more money away for their future. The key is to make saving both simple and interesting. We are certainly not advocating dispensing with the services of a financial adviser, especially those with fairly complex financial affairs, but believe that people with simpler affairs should have the tools and information to manage their own savings and investments.

“Strawberry’s charges are fully transparent and the platform will not receive any rebates from fund providers. All of the charges associated with the platform can be seen through the investors cash account just like a bank statement.”

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