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Come and have a go (are you brave enough?)

Mark Polson and the team at ground-breaking financial services consultancy the lang cat have produced their first consumer platform Guide with their typical aplomb and disregard for ‘how things should be done’ in the financial services industry.

Come and have a go is an easy-to-read, highly accessible Guide to D2C investment and pensions platforms from the consumer’s standpoint. Those looking to understand the various platforms in the market, their fund lists, charging structures and levels of support, and what that all means for their investments, will find a wealth of useful information, providing background and detailed breakdown of the market, a look at the different categories – funds, SIPPs and share trading – as well as a summary of 25 platforms. Fictional case studies covering the various’ types’ of people who might use a direct platform and their individual styles of investing, give a nod towards which platform(s) might best suit them. Clearly, this will please some platforms but not others.

Although a Guide dealing with direct investing, advisers will be pleased to hear that at strategic points, it nudges consumers towards seeking financial advice and strives to point out the difference between guidance, through online wizards etc, and full-on financial advice as delivered by professional advisers.

At 64 pages you could argue the guide is a tad long (but with 25 platforms covered this is a big undertaking) and, of course, now it’s published inevitably some of its data will soon be out of date. But those niggles aside, this is the kind of honest booklet the financial services industry needs. Its style won’t be for everyone, but Polson and his team have been brave enough to ‘have a go’ and good on ’em. Only an independent company could have undertaken this project, giving consumers what they need, sensible, unbiased information.

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