British investors have flocked to DIY platforms with the coronavirus shaking global markets, but financial advisers warn of big risks

  • Global stock markets have been turbulent during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Multiple UK platforms that cater to inexperienced investors have reported a surge in new accounts being opened.
  • Financial advisers, who compete for business with such platforms, caution that there are big risks if investors make the wrong move.

UK do-it-yourself investment platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell Youinvest have reported a surge in new accounts being opened by investors trying to manage their money themselves during the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But professional financial advisers, who compete with such firms for business, are cautioning investors about the risks of going it alone, especially coming off the recent volatility in global stock markets.

DIY investors, also known as retail or individual investors, might sell at the wrong time, for example, or even start investing with a portfolio that is poorly suited for them.

Lisa Johnstone, the managing director of the advisory firm VWM Wealth, said DIY investing made her think of a poster she saw in the waiting room of a doctor’s office that said “Don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree.”

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