Richard Wilson, Interactive Investor CEO on the evolution of the ii investment platform

If you’ve ever tried to look for info and tips on smaller cap stocks, one of the places you will have no doubt ended up at some point is the Interactive Investor discussion forum.

Interactive Investor, in my mind anyway, has always been an aggregation of what one looks at when dealing stocks. Gossip, market data, multi-sourced news flow (RNS, Stockopedia etc.) and of course share dealing.

As well as Stocks, Interactive Investor offers SIPPs, stocks & shares ISAs, bonds and fund investing. So you have your high-risk/low-risk diverse portfolio all in one place.

I’ve known Interactive Investor for a long time. When I was at Investors Intelligence, we did supply bond data from ORB to Interactive Investor along with our yield comparison tables and charts. In fact, I loved the Interactive Investor forum, that when I took over the running of fixedincomeinvestor.co.uk from Mark Glowrey I installed a discussion forum, which is now a thriving resource for those looking to invest in bonds.

Anyway, should you switch your investment account and invest through Interactive Investor?

We spoke to Richard Wilson, CEO of Interactive Investor to find out.

Having previously lead professional and institutional brokers, what was the appeal of joining a private client-focused investment platform and do you think there is much of a cross over?

This is an exciting, changing sector with the potential to bring significant direct benefits to our customers.

There are always new things to learn, but having spent many years in related industries what strikes me as constant is the need to focus on the customer – they are why we exist – to embrace technology to deliver services in better, easier ways and to support a team of great professionals to do it.

With lots of single product focused fintech companies entering the market. What would you say were the main benefits for clients dealing through a multi-asset provider like Interactive Investor?

The difference is we are customer not product focused. That is about choice, being better informed and delivering value.

Our platform gives access to tens of thousands of equities across the world’s leading exchanges in multiple currencies. We also provide access to the broadest range of funds, investment trusts and ETFs.

Equally, we want to give investors the tools to help them achieve greater financial independence.

We are proud of our impartial, asset agnostic, expert news and analysis, with tools to help investors identify the best in class. Our Super 60 list of funds, investment trusts and ETFs is the start of that journey.

One of the things that sets interactive investor apart is its lively and active discussion forum. How much value do you place on the interactive investor community of investors and any plans for expanding the forum in the future?

We value our community, it produces a lot of interesting comment and views on various companies and investment opportunities. In addition, we regularly listen to feedback.

Over the years you must have dealt with pretty much every sort of investor. What would you say are the main investing mistakes clients make and what can you suggest investors do to improve their strategies?

We’ve all made investment mistakes, and some are more painful than others. The biggest mistake is investing without a strategy, and without knowing your risk profile and long term versus short term objectives.

Perhaps the worst mistake is not doing your homework and relying on word of mouth, or hype (remember Bitcoin?).

Knowledge is power – and that comes to fees too.

The financial services sector loves to talk about the power of compounding but handily forgets to talk about the compounding of charges. They really do add up. So my advice would be know your risk profile, stick to your strategy, and remember costs – they do add up.

And finally, what would be your top three online resources investors looking to get an edge on investments?

I would have to say ii.co.uk, Money Observer and MoneyWise, which are all available online at no additional charge for ii customers.

What else could I possibly say..:-)

Richard Wilson is CEO of Interactive Investor, an online investment platform

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Richard started the Good Broker Guide in 2015 and has been a broker for 20 years most recently at Investors Intelligence and previously a multi-asset derivatives broker at MF Global (Man Financial). Richard started his career working as a private client stockbroker at Walker Crips and Phillip Securities (now King and Shaxson) after interning on the NYMEX oil trading floor in New York and London IPE in 2001 & 2000.