Description: TILLIT offers a curated universe of best-in-class funds for long term investors. The company was founded in 2019 by ex-Baillie Gifford fund manager Felicia Hjertman to help investors make better investment choices.
Capital at risk.
TILLIT is a good choice for long term investors who want to invest in a diverse range of funds ,OEICs, unit trusts, investment trusts and ETFs that have been hand-picked by experienced fund managers to cover different regions, assets and risk profiles.
- Investments: Funds
- Minimum deposit: £1
- Account types: GIA, ISA, Pension
- Account charge: 0.4%
- Dealing fee: £0
- Curated range of funds
- Guidance on investments
- Scaled fee structure
- Cannot invest in individual shares
- Limited universe of investments
- No app
Research & Analysis
Before writing this review and after I’d figured out how to pronounce her surname for the into (Yat-Man BTW) I had a good chat with Felicia Hjertman, the CEO and founder of TILLIT to find out a bit more about why she set up the business.
It’s nice to see an investment platform set up by an investment manager, rather than a couple of teenagers with a massive amount of VC backing. Because with the opportunists, you just know the proposition is all about a massive customer grab and giving everything away for free.
Felicia told me, that one of the reasons she founded TILLIT was because of a frustration in trying to invest personally. Professionally she was an investment manager in the £18bn+ Japanese equity team at Baillie Gifford. She also co-managed around $2.4bn in Japanese small-cap funds that returned 35% over 3 years. For those of the social media persuasion that says you should “just buy an index tracker”, that only returned 22%.
So professionally, she had access to a very specific set of criteria, but personally, she said,
there was just too much choice.
The interview is well worth a read/listen/watch if you want to hear what she’s got to say and are on the fence about investing with TILLIT. Especially, if you think that all affiliate review sites only say positive things because they want you to click on a link and open an account so they get a referral fee.
As by now you will have come back to read my thoughts after listening to our podcast, you will know that I am a big fan of investment platforms making money. Not just for their customers but for themselves. Because in investing, I’m afraid, nothing is free, there are no free lunches. The regulatory and custody infrastructure of the UK banking and finance network is there to keep your money safe and with that comes at a costs. As Felicia said in our interview if you are not paying for a product, then you are the product. So it’s important that new investment platforms charge customers so they can keep providing added value to their customers. TILLIT is no different, but they do take a slightly different approach to account costs.
TILLIT has a good scaled fee system so the longer you are with them the lower your investment costs will be. So in theory, as your portfolio grows over time your TILLIT fee will come down. Account fees start at 0.4% no matter how large your account is and drops 0.01% every year to a minimum of 0.25%. Of course, this doesn’t include the fund fees, but there is no real way to get around those.
Compared to the major platforms’ investment ISAs, TILLIT’s 0.4% is cheaper than Hargreaves Lansdown for funds (0.45%), but more expensive than AJ Bell (0.25%). Compared to Interactive Investor (who charge a flat monthly fee of £59.88 a year if you have less than £50k on account) TILLIT is cheaper until your portfolio is worth more than £15,000 in your first year and that value increases for every year TILLIT’s platform fee is reduced.
But there is more to an investment account than how much it costs. It’s also about what it gives you.
It’s not great, but that’s actually great. I’ve just had a conversation with my wife about me having ADHD. It means that I’m constantly spinning a thousand ideas around in my head and I find it hard to focus on anything for too long. I operate best when I don’t have too much to think about or too much choice. I can’t stand going shopping for instance. I prefer Lidl to Waitrose. Because there is less choice. Lidl only sells one type of beans. Waitrose has a huge range of beans to choose from. They all vary a bit, but are basically all the same and often the expensive ones don’t taste as nice as the cheaper unbranded ones.
The same is true of investing. There are currently 22,771 funds listed on Trustnet and if I want to invest in the US I have a choice of 1,136 funds, or if I’m feeling patriotic and want to invest in the UK, there are 5,115 funds to choose from. How on earth are you supposed to make a choice from that amount of options? It would be a lot easier if you had an experienced fund manager and an investment committee to whittle those down to the best-of-breed funds within various asset classes and give you a curated list of best-in-class funds.
Thankfully, that is what TILLIT has done. Roughly 100 funds, covering the major regions and the major asset classes with varying degrees of risk. All neatly packaged together in their TILLIT Universe.
Ah but I hear you say, around 100 funds is still too many, I haven’t got time to read the well-research and summarised summaries of what the funds do. That’s OK. You can just invest in them all with their portfolio builder and add them all to your basket to spread your risk across funds that are designed to spread your risk. Diversification squared. Plus, it doesn’t cost you any more as there are no dealing fees.
But what if you do have time? Well goodie for you too, but if someone told you in the pub that they had just invested in an Alquity Future World fund, your eyes would glaze over and you’d nip to the loo. But if instead, they said, I’ve invested in something that was described as “If philanthropy and emerging market investing had a love child” that’s a little more interesting and worthy of some follow-up questions. Probably make for a pleasant evening.
The site is not perfect by any means. I personally like investing platforms to be as functional as possible and present as much data on one screen, so you don’t have to click and scroll about. There is also no app. But, that doesn’t really matter. You’re not going to be on there tapping away all day. Hopefully, you’ll log in, do your research, buy a fund and then leave it alone.
Research & Analysis
TILLIT is basically one big best-buy list, so it is going to live and die by the performance of the investments that it puts in front of investors. It can’t do anything about the performance of stock markets, they go up and down with the ebbs and flows of sentiment. Buy they can take control of heavily vetting their universe.
Obviously, other platforms like Hargreaves Lansdown have best buy lists, but they are very much a DIY platform, a fund supermarket. So when a fund they “recommend” to investors at launch goes completely off-piste and starts investing in unlisted bio-tech firms when it was supposed to be following the tried and tested method of investing people’s pensions in FTSE 100 listed income-generating stocks. They can shrug it off with the execution-only argument.
But, one of the main benefits of TILLIT, in my eyes anyway, is that they have done the research and analysis into what they believe are the best funds in whatever asset class you want to invest in.
Once added to their universe they then provide a bit more colour through “meet the manager videos” where they explain their investment philosophy. Then if you decide to become a customer you can watch the video which covers a lot more. Then add value to the traditional fact sheet, by giving a “TILLIT View” where they explain what it is, what it does, and the major risks involved.
This is guidance, not financial advice. Which is really I think what people need. People roughly know what they want to invest in, but don’t know specifically where or how to do it. TILLIT simplifies this process and makes picking funds a bit easier.
TILLIT means trust in Swedish (as the founder is Swedish). Which is what investing is all about. You are trusting your investment platform to look after, potentially, the most amount of money you have.
So should you invest with this Swede-talking investment platform? Well, trust plays such an important part when investing. Dictum Meum Pactum – ‘My Word is My Bond’. As they say.