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Robo review: evestor provides easy experience for first-time investor

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Robo review: evestor provides easy experience for first-time investor

New Model Adviser® is trying out robo-advice! Read how editor Will Robins get on with evestor. You can see our review of Moneyfarm here, and keep your eye on the website for future updates. 

As someone who wanted to give robo-advice a try but did not want to commit too much, I figured I could invest around £500 now before putting more in later.

This created complications at first, as I discovered several propositions required a minimum investment of £1,000 as a lump sum or £100 per month. I decided to settle on the newly launched evestor, which allows you to invest as little as you like.

Building a profile

First I gave it some details: married, a homeowner, no dependents, hoping to retire at 70 (is that unambitious?), and I am not paying more than 15% of my income on unsecured debts.

One question asked if I planned to withdraw money within five years. The investment is not big, and ostensibly I had in mind using it to boost savings or get a bigger car if kids arrive. I clicked yes and got a message telling me I should intend to make an investment for more than five years before withdrawing. I was told to put these savings in cash.

If I was a normal punter I might have stopped there, but I reasoned the amount I was investing was small enough that I would be happy to keep it invested for more than five years.

I then chose my financial goals before detailing my assets and liabilities, including the fact I am still paying off my student loan (do not get me started on the Student Loans Company website).

Guts or glory

The next stage was to say how much investment experience I had. I am not sure editing the investment pages of New Model Adviser® counts as investment experience, but having not invested outside of my workplace Sipp I opted for ‘little’.

I was asked about my willingness to take risk and some capacity for loss questions, before ending up with this summary: previous amount of experience: little; maximum amount of risk: some; capacity for loss: maximum.

I was recommended the following investment portfolio made of tracker funds, including:

The Vanguard Global Bond Index Hedged fund (25%); the Baillie Gifford Cash A fund (21.5%); and the Vanguard UK Government Bond Index fund (18%).

A cost breakdown said I would pay nothing upfront, around 0.13% (£0.65) for the portfolio, and an annual service charge of 0.35% (£1.75).

I would be offered an annual review, and was told evestor would continuously monitor the portfolio ‘to make sure managers are performing as we would expect them to’. There is an online portal and mobile app I can use as well.

A nice touch at the end said if I had a question ‘or just want some comfort’ on a financial matter I could contact evestor through its chat system or book an online appointment with an adviser.

Easy entrance

It was a simple process, the low bar to entry I wanted, and I came away with a recommendation that took my personal circumstances and outlook into account. Unlike many services I was not sent into apoplectic rage at not being able to dig out all the right documents, which is a situation I find myself in when it comes to financial matters, travel or even cinema bookings.

Like many people of my age (32), I have some complex aspects to my financial life and some simple ones. Car ownership, inheritances, marriages and children are the sorts of things that make young people’s uncomplicated lives more complex overnight. I felt the system was sympathetic to that.

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