3.7 million ISA investors are ‘flying blind’

Press release   •   Dec 01, 2012 16:10 GMT

Half of those investing in equity ISAs could be losing money to bad performance without even knowing it

According to new research published today by the up and coming online investment service ‘Rplan’, half of those investing in equity ISAs - approximately 3.7 million people - have little or no idea how their portfolio is performing, despite this leaving them wide open to underperformance they could have avoided.

Early awareness of poor performance is essential if investors are to take action to minimise further negative impact. The discovery that around 3.7 million ISA investors are ‘flying blind’, without a clear idea of how their investment is doing, bodes very badly for the returns they are likely to get.

Investors have been left in this sorry state by the very people who sold them their equity ISA in the first place – execution-only brokers and websites, advisers, fund managers and banks. None of these firms provide a simple, clear figure to show how the customer’s portfolio has performed over the last year, despite this being the most obvious and useful indicator of how their investment is doing.

Only those investors who are prepared and able to aggregate their fund holdings, applying the appropriate weightings and performance figures from each fund, can tell you what ‘their number’ is ie – how much their portfolio has increased or decreased in value over the last year.

When asked, these companies that leave their customers in the dark may well say they conform to the law - issuing statements and so forth. However this disclosure is a blatantly inadequate minimum for any business claiming they keep their customers well informed and help them to get the best from their investment. No firm makes it easy for investors to monitor their portfolios in a way that encourages and helps them to spot corrosive underperformance and take sensible corrective action.

That all changes today with the launch of two unique and extremely useful new features at rplan.co.uk.

  • What’s my number? The first will reveal to each investor the answer to this crucial question. The most important is the portfolio’s performance – what percentage it went up or down by over the last year or some other relevant period selected. Two other important numbers are also given (again for the whole portfolio, weighted and in aggregate): the overall Total Expense Ratio (TER) and the portfolio’s risk level, rated from 1 to 7. These numbers are provided instantly and can be updated at any time.
  • Fund Spotter. The second new feature provides another major step forward in helping customers to get a firm grip on how their investment is doing. The ‘Fund Spotter’ tool identifies any funds in their portfolio that are doing particularly badly and provides a list of similar type funds that are doing very well. Rather than expecting customers to take the hours required to do this analysis themselves, if in fact they could, Rplan’s new tool does it all for them instantly, and again can be updated at any time.

Andy Creak, cofounder and CEO of Rplan said:“Although many investor services out there have improved on the bad ways of the older parts of the industry, as this research proves, these ‘good guys’ should be doing a radically better job for their customers. To leave half of those investing in equity ISAs unable to tell you what their number is over the last year is frankly a disgrace.”

“Rather than make big profits by offering only a slightly better service than that of the industry’s old guard, we are determined to offer UK investors the best it can be, from the clear and valuable information we provide, to the control we facilitate, to the very low and simple charges we take. These two new tools are just the next step along the way, but we are confident investors will find them very useful and eye-opening. With luck, they will notice how we put their interests ahead of the industry’s”.

Investors do not need to hold their equity ISA with Rplan to make use of the What’s My Number or Fund Spotter tool. To use the tools, they just have to input their fund names, and the number of units they hold and Rplan does the rest.

Investors wanting to return again for subsequent updates will need to register, for free, with Rplan to enable their records to be saved. Those wishing to transfer their equity ISA holdings or any other funds to Rplan will enjoy a smooth process with no joining, initial or transfer fees.

Rplan can be accessed by anyone at www.rplan.co.uk.


For further information or comment, please contact press@rplan.co.uk or 0208 347 2055

Notes for Editors

A new market entrant, rplan.co.uk is a financial planning business designed for the discerning DIY investor. Rplan.co.uk helps the 38% of Britons that have no financial plan in place to get back in control of their finances and, for the financially savvy, it connects like-minded people.

At Rplan, everyone saves money on commissions that many don't even know they are paying and nobody pays more than £15 per month.

Rplan brings together four essential elements: 

  • Plan. For each life goal, people can put together a financial plan and keep track of how close they are to achieving it.
  • Save money: Rplan refunds at least 50% of the ongoing commissions people pay for the investments they hold through the site. With Rplan, people can also check for free the charges they are already paying with another provider at www.rplan.co.uk/charges.
  • Analyse: Simple tools and free mobile apps to keep people up to date on their investments.
  • Share: In addition to expert commentary, people can share insights and experiences with other like-minded people.

Rplan is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") under reference number 529879 and is based at 2 Frederick Place, London N8 8AF.

rplan helps you take control of your investments, find the best funds, create financial plans and get support from industry experts and like-minded peers.