Income CahrtIf you’re looking to invest your hard-earned cash and potentially yield high returns you are likely to head straight to one of the well-established financial management companies or banking groups such as Barclays, Fidelity or HSBC. But do you really know what you’re paying for the services they offer, and what value you’re getting in return?

Over the last few years we’ve seen the emergence of dozens of fresh, innovative companies in the finance industry that are challenging the old guard and delivering services that are transparent, clear, relevant, cost-effective and jargon-free.

Here we look at three investment management companies that have been breathing new life into the financial sector.

Nutmeg

Want to invest but don’t have the time or desire to navigate the complex and ever-changing stock market? Then fear not as multi-award winning company, Nutmeg, may be able to help. Simply answer a few online questions about your attitude to risk and a team of financial experts will build an investment portfolio to suit your needs. Not only that but they’ll regularly monitor and adjust your investments as they identify opportunities for potentially good investment returns.

You can open a stocks and shares ISA with Nutmeg and transfer in ISAs from other providers, starting from just £1,000, and it only takes 10 minutes to set it all up online. They’ve also just launched a personal pension service.

Nutmeg was the first online discretionary management company in the UK back in 2012. They’ve since attracted media attention from across the world and received hundreds of positive reviews from its professional customer base. Here are just some of them.

  • “Nutmeg really called out to me. I felt it could offer a better return on my investment, in a way that suited me.” Darren, business consultant
  • “They give me absolute trust that they’re on top of my finances — as much as I would be if I was managing it.” Helen, managing director
  • “Nutmeg have taken away the burden of managing my money. I feel safe. With Nutmeg, I have an expert investment team.” Fergus, chartered accountant

Strawberry Invest

While Nutmeg angle at doing everything for you and making your life as easy as possible, Strawberry Invest take a more DIY approach to investing. They guide you towards investments they think are suitable. Providing clients with all the tools they need to make important financial decisions including a clear, concise and easy-to-use website, they’re another company that is standing out in the investment world for simplicity and transparency. Founded at the start of 2014, they’re certainly a new addition to the financial sector but with a strong media presence they’re appealing to the masses.

Sure, there’s a wealth of competition out there but founder James Priday seems unfazed stating: “When we looked at the research, it said that [individuals with] £72 billion in investable assets would consider investing via an online platform. Even if we only win a very small amount of that, it would really be a very big thing.”

Here are some reviews of Strawberry Invest:

  • “Strawberry Invest has turned thrift into a virtue, with a simple and clean user interface that’s less intimidating to regular savers.”
  • “Provides a simple, low-cost way of investing.”
  • “Strawberry Invest is certainly 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.”

Money on Toast

When the economy hit rock bottom during the recession and fees to see a financial advisor went through the roof, CPN Investment – the parent company of Money on Toast – decided to think outside the box. They realised that many people would no longer be able to get access to advice and investment management services which is why they developed Money on Toast – a low-cost alternative to the traditional advice model.

This platform was established in 2012 and has since won the “Leading Innovation” award at the UK Platform Awards sponsored by Google. The company has thousands of satisfied customers and is committed to providing a market leading investment management and advice service with a focus on ease of use, excellent investment performance and world class customer service.

Here are some Money on Toast reviews:

  • “Money on Toast goes where most others have feared to tread, into the realm of automated advice. That’s right, if you go through the right process, Money on Toast’s automated robot helper, Doughbot, will helpfully recommend an ISA, a bond, a pension or protection for you.”
  • “For sheer breadth of ambition and audacity in breaking moulds – from moving advice online to offering it remotely in 20-minute slices – Money On Toast is leading the way.”
  • “I don’t know another site which brings so many threads together in one place. It’s glorious.”
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Bloggers talk about anything and everything financial - Budgeting, tips and tricks to make your money go further. Money can't buy you happiness but it can help pay your bills. How much further can you make your money go each month?

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