Even if you love investing – and that seems to be a minority of you, based on all the fabulous reviews you've left us – you probably don’t want to spend your evenings on it, or even a snatched half-hour in your lunch break. In fact, most people would probably rather spend no time on it at all.
The nice thing about reviews is they show us how regular people talk about money in their own words. We’ve done a textual analysis of more than 1200 reviews users have left on our site to identify patterns and figure out how our users describe money and investing; what they care about. We had an inkling of what it would be but even we were surprised by how strong the priority was.
‘Ease of use’ is the most common phrase in the total review pool (by a huge 47%). In fact, it comes up far more often than all those things that providers and the regulator think make a difference, such as fees and charges, or investment performance. As we see it, financial providers consistently underestimate the importance of making life easy for their customers.
We recognise there are problems in doing this. In its somewhat sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut-like way, the regulator has decided that all investment products must come branded with risk warnings that often serve to obscure rather than enlighten. However, we also believe that many companies hide behind their compliance departments. It is clear that the more progressive companies are finding effective ways to communicate with their clients and help them find the right products in spite of rules and labels. Wealthify comes to mind.
As for us, we will use this information to urge both the regulator and providers to listen to what you're all saying. Fees and returns have become an overwhelming focus, often to the exclusion of clarity and simplicity for customers . We believe less time should be spent explaining the minutiae of charges and performance and more time making the website experience as simple and effective as it possibly can be. After all, for the majority of people, the most important driver of their long-term wealth will be to invest in the first place and to stay invested over time.
And a call out to you all: please keep sending your reviews – we can turn them into real insights and make sure providers give you a better service! And let us know if any of this sounds a bit off - we always want to hear from you.
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At Boring Money we combine data and insights from product providers, stats and opinions from consumers and individual investors to produce expert publications which are more than just a series of graphs.UK investment market reports