Life can get really hectic and one of the keys to staying on top of everything you need to do and to manage is to ensure that you have a place for everything and everything in its place and that, if at all possible, like items are kept together. This principle often holds good in many areas of life, including taking care of your finances. Seeking out the best products for your needs and wants may have left you with a range of investments with a variety of providers. If you are in this situation, then you may find it helpful to start using a platform.
Platforms can help you to go in the right direction
In financial terms, platforms are simply dashboards which allow you to view and manage all of your investment products from one place. They offer several advantages over accessing each of your investments individually.
For many people, this may be the most compelling aspect of using a platform. In these days of multiple online accounts with associated passwords, pins, security questions and card readers, it can be a blessed relief to consolidate different accounts into one convenient and secure location with one set of credentials to remember. What’s more the user will only have one interface to learn rather than having to master the process required to perform what is essentially the same action on several different websites.
Taking care of your pennies is a good start but pounds do actually need some care too. At the end of the day, the small savings we make through thrift are made for a reason. For some people that may just be ensuring that they can get through the proverbial rainy day but for others it may be for longer-term life goals, whether that’s a (first) home or a dream retirement. Having everything “under one roof” can make it easier to see the overall picture and hence can help to make it clearer what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Generally speaking, as people travel through life, their needs, wants and priorities change. A person in their twenties may be looking to get on the housing ladder with their first starter flat, while a person in their fifties may already be planning ahead to where they will spend their retirement. Sometimes these changes follow broadly familiar patterns, at other times, they may pop up unexpectedly in the form of a new challenge or a fresh opportunity (sometimes a situation can be both at once). Keeping all your financial matters together can make it easier to react to changes in your situation, even unplanned ones.
Charges are a fact of life with any service and while it’s fair enough that people (or companies) who provide you with a good service earn a reasonable fee for their efforts, it’s important that you can feel confident that you are getting good value for money. You can only determine if charges are in line with your expectations if you actually know what they are. One of the benefits of using a platform is that you will be able to see at a glance how much you will pay for any given action. On a similar note, using a platform can help you to manage your tax matters as effectively as possible, for example by making it obvious how much, if any, of your annual capital gains tax allowance you have used. In fact some platforms may allow you to record the value of non-investment assets such as property on them, which can be very helpful not only from the point of view of managing your immediate taxation liabilities but for general financial management and, ultimately, for estate planning.