What is a Platform?

Please note this blog post was published over 12 months ago and so may not include the most up-to-date information, for example where regulation around investing has changed.

Katie Harrison, Platform Project Manager, explains the new and enhanced True Potential Platform.

Hello, I’m Katie Harrison, and I am the project manager of True Potential’s new and enhanced Platform.

With the launch of the True Potential Platform, we thought that now would be the perfect time to explain what an Investment Platform really is and why we’ve built ours in-house.

To put it simply, a Platform is an online service that allows you to hold a range of wrappers and accounts, such as ISAs, Personal Pensions, General Investment Accounts and Bonds. In simple terms you could think of a Platform as a bank account for your investments.

We believe that a Platform has three key features:

The first is that they let you buy investment and pension products – for example mutli-asset funds and Portfolios like our discretionary-managed True Potential Portfolios.

The second purpose of a Platform is they give you access to view your investments.  The right Platform will offer online and app access to review, buy and sell your investments 24/7. At True Potential, we pride ourselves on our award-winning client site, which displays your investments holistically in a clear and concise manner. In addition, our world first top-up technology, impulseSave®,  enables you to top up your investment in seconds from just £1 at the touch of a button.

The third purpose of a Platform is a place to hold your investment. The Platform provider becomes a Custodian to your investment, ensuring your money is secure and protected.

Client money and asset rules enforced by the Financial Conduct Authority keep client money completely separate from a firm’s own money in case the provider was to stop trading. However, if the administrator can’t recover all their fees from the company assets, it’s legally allowed to do so from the client’s assets instead. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) covers every investor to £50,000 and soon £85,000 in April 2019.

With that in mind it is imperative that you select a Platform that’s financially strong. Our latest set of financial accounts prove that the True Potential group is just that, with revenue up 43% to £99 million and profits up 61% to £24 million.

Different Platform providers charge for their service in different ways, so it’s important to select a provider that suits how you invest. At True Potential we like to keep things simple, so our Platform has no hidden costs, just a flat annual charge of 0.40% which pays for the buying, selling, holding and protection of your assets. So, if you invested £50,000 onto our investment platform you would pay £200 in platform fees for the year, less than £17 a month.

By developing the new Platform in-house, using our team of over 35 developers, we have been able to use our award-winning technology expertise to meet the needs of today’s advisers and clients, in an agile and forward-facing way. Using our extensive client base, we’ve researched the needs of clients and been able to build an incredibly streamlined experience, focusing our attention on the investors’ experience. This approach ensures we’ve built a Platform that makes investing simple, effective and, with features like impulseSave®, totally unique.

So that’s our take on a Platform – stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news on our new enhanced Platform.

With investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can fluctuate in value and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Tax rules can change at any time. This blog is not personal financial advice.

Personal Finance