A new online advisory service has been launched on 26 August in the UK by Chris Williams, former CEO of Ashcourt RowanFinancial Planning and current board director at the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP).
Wealth Horizon, the newly-formed Bristol-based online wealth management service, will provide more accessible financial advice to investors with a minimum investment of £1,000 and with an affordable annual management charge of 0.75%.
According to a firm’s statement, investors, without speaking to an adviser, can receive regulated advice and build a tailored portfolio based on their individual risk profile.
On the other hand, investors with more complex needs will have the option of speaking to a qualified adviser.
Wealth Horizon’s business proposition could find itself in a very optimal position in the financial services industry as, like for a few other examples, this has seen a growing number of investors become victims of the ‘advice gap’.
"There may be other companies that offer aspects of the investment process online, but we are the first to offer a complete journey from initial online advice, through to consultation and fund management," said Williams, Wealth Horizon’s CEO.
Research has revealed that there are currently 23 million investors managing their own portfolios, of which 39% of them (11m people) say that the service offered by financial advisers are too expensive or that they do not know how to find good advice (10% or 3.2m people).
"The Retail Distribution Review left a hole in the market and many people have been left without access to advice. The advice gap exists because there was never a service that satisfied the needs of every investor," Williams added.
"We are going to revolutionise the way that people access investment advice. We need to put the customer at the heart of the process, allowing them to access affordable financial advice whenever they want."
Research by lobbyist Gary Heath has suggested that the RDR could leave as many as 20m people without access to advice, including those ‘orphaned’ by advisers who have left or will exit the industry as well as those clients whose advisers are unable to service them due to costs.