If Nutmeg’s increasingly desperate need for cash wasn’t evidence enough, the closure of Click & Invest has proven how hard it is for robo-advisers to make money. These platforms offer relatively low investment management fees compared to traditional financial advisers (although still not as low as simply buying a tracker fund) and are having to spend excessively on marketing to attract new users. The outlook therefore looks pretty bleak.
Investec has decided to close its robo-adviser Click & Invest, just two years after launch. The company has written down £20m of investment in the venture after revealing that “the appetite for investment services such as ours remains low and the market itself is growing at a much slower rate than expected”.
It seems a shame Investec has given up so quickly. In March we conducted a thorough review of the robo-advisers and declared Click & Invest far and away the best of the UK’s offering. At the time we wrote: “The company doesn’t pretend to be as cheap as a passive fund, its focus is on providing added value, which is why the digital questionnaire is more detailed than many of its peers. There is also a lower limit of £2,500 to ensure its customers have enough money to build a sensible portfolio”.
But perhaps therein lies the problem. Click & Invest isn’t as cheap as some of its peers and…
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