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Gumtree co-founder launches new online investment platform for everyday people

Gumtree co-founder Simon Crookall has launched a new British digital financial service – InvestEngine (www.investengine.com) – which provides globally diversified investment portfolios for people with as little as £2,000 to invest.

InvestEngine (web platform with an app launching in the coming weeks) has a management fee of 0.45% per annum, making it one of the lowest fixed rates available. There are no dealing fees, set up costs, custody or exit fees, and InvestEngine rebalances portfolios as part of the service. (In addition,investors are also subject to an average ETF cost of 0.17%, as well as a market spread cost, expected to be 0.04% per annum).

Unlike many other players, InvestEngine uses a ‘buy and hold’ approach which means less room for human error. The online investment platform uses algorithms to assess investors against 16 risk profiles, matches them with an optimal investment strategy (which is typically made up of stocks, bonds and other assets) and automatically rebalances portfolios where necessary. For additional assurance, InvestEngine’s team monitors investments on an ongoing basis.

InvestEngine combines its smart technology with over 70 years’ financial experience via its unique close relationship with Ramsey Crookall, an award-winning independent investment management firm that provides InvestEngine’s broker function. This direct relationship allows the intelligent investment service to keep costs competitive and trade more efficiently.

According to Simon – who has co-founded InvestEngine with his sister Joanna Crookall, CEO of 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 quality 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 market tracking technology 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 an array of services from pensions and ISAs to investment advice and ethical investing options with green portfolios,” Simon explains.

The platform is easy to understand and customer accounts are quick to set up. Prospective investors answer 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 giving exposure to stocks, bonds and other assets (such as gold). To boost returns, investors have the option of topping up their portfolio with monthly instalments.

Consumers can log in at any time to check performance and withdraw money whenever they like with no exit fees. The online investment service has a direct relationship with CREST (the UK’s Central Security Depository) to ensure customers’ investments are held safely and securely. CREST is owned and operated by Euroclear, which has custody of €28.8 trillion in assets.

To find out more about InvestEngine or to sign-up, visit www.investengine.com.