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Fidelity joins in the investment guidance game

Fidelity, the fund management group, has launched a service offering to guide people through the investment maze.


by Michelle McGagh on Feb 21, 2013 at 13:14

Fidelity joins in the investment guidance game

Investment funds are a great way to put some money in the stock market for your ISA or pension. However, deciding which funds of the thousands available to choose is difficult. 

Traditionally, investors had two choices: do their own research and pick the funds themselves, or, if they lacked the time or confidence to be a DIY investor, employ the services of a financial adviser (preferably an 'independent' IFA who could look at the whole of the investment market).

Now, as IFA numbers dwindle following the abolition of commission by the Financial Services Authority, a middle-way is emerging.

A growing number of websites such as Candid Money, InvestorBee, MoneyVista and Nutmeg have sprung up to offer various services that aim to help people make better financial decisions but fall short of full individual financial advice. There is also the government's Money Advice Service.

Now the big investment companies are joining in the 'guidance' game.

Fidelity Worldwide Investments has launched a service aimed at guiding people through the investment maze. Encouragingly, not all routes lead to its funds!

The service, which is available online, over the phone and even face-to-face helps people invest through an individual savings account (ISA), a junior ISA, a self-invested personal pension (Sipp), or directly into funds through an investment account.

As with a lot of these services, investors are invited to state their attitude to risk and set savings goals. Fidelity then gives them three options on how to invest their money:

PathFinder Range: this is a range of 15 'multi-asset' funds, each invested in a mix of the five main asset classes of cash, bonds, shares, property and commodities. Each fund is risk graded and has different combination of the asset classes. Investors choose the one they think has the right 'asset allocation' for them. 

Investors taking this option have to make a second decision about what type of funds they want to invest in. 'Foundation' funds, which passively track stockmarkets chosen by Fidelity; 'Focused' funds, where money is invested purely in Fidelity's active fund range; and 'Freedom' funds, where money is invested by Fidelity in funds from other investment groups, not just its own.

Headstart Portfolios: this a range of risk-based fund portfolios based on areas Fidelity thinks are likely to be important in the coming years. Investors select a range of funds or choose their own funds based on asset allocation suggestions from Fidelity.

Select List: a list of 140 funds chosen by Fidelity’s investment team from over 2,000 in the market because it believes they will add value. Investors are responsible for choosing the areas they want to invest in.

For investors with more confidence, Fidelity's FundsNetwork fund 'supermarket' provides a choice of 2,200 funds to pick from.

The cost of investing in the funds varies but Fidelity says it will spell out the total cost. To launch the guidance service it is offering several deals that will cut charges for early bird investors.

Mark Till, head of personal investing at Fidelity, said: ‘Having recently conducted research which identified a guidance gap where 43 million people in the UK are either unwilling or unable to access financial advice, we believe there is a very real risk that a large proportion of the UK population will fail to reach their financial goals without any additional help.

‘With this huge gap in mind, we have developed a service which we believe has the ability to set savers on the right path towards taking control of their investment and savings decisions.’

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21

"43 million people in the U.K. either unwilling or unable to access financial advice"??!?!?

How many have computers and are able to type in (e.g.)

What the 43 million probably meant was that they don't want to pay money to get highly questionable financial advice from an IFA. What they really need is financial education, not "advice" from a fund manager.

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philip gosling

Feb 23, 2013 at 17:40

I wondered why Fidelity's Customer services seem to me so useless as they process my move out of their fundsnetwork - now I guess I know they are concentrated on getting new customers.

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