A platform brings together your investments and pensions online, allowing you to view them in one place – a bit like online banking.

Different types of investment, such as ISAs, Unit Trusts, Pensions and Bonds, are often held in different places, with different institutions or organisations. Getting a clear, concise view of all your investments can therefore be extremely difficult.

A platform gives you secure, online access to your investment funds, with a transparent, easy-to-understand charging structure. You can view your entire portfolio, use it to access a range of investment options and know exactly what you’re paying for your investments at any one time.

So rather than holding all of your ISAs, pensions and other investments in different places, you can view everything at a single glance.

This cuts down on paperwork, giving you a clearer picture of how your portfolio is performing. More importantly, it can make it easier for you and your financial adviser to make informed decisions about your investments, putting your future plans, financial position and attitude to risk first.

As with all investments, the value and the income generated can fall as well as rise. This means you may not get back what you originally invested or transferred into your account.

The risks in your portfolio will depend on the investments you have chosen. Your adviser should explain all these risks to you as part of their recommendation.

The performance of your investment will be reduced by the effect of charges, including platform charges, adviser charges, fund manager charges and tax wrapper charges.