Will AJ Bell’s new app Dodl with friendly monster take fear out of investing?

Keep an eye out: The app will feature Dodl the friendly monster

Investment platform AJ Bell will launch an app this week, aimed at enticing people with five-figure sums tucked away in cash into the stock market for the first time. 

Called Dodl, as in doddle and featuring Dodl the friendly monster, the app will be cheaper to use than investing via the company’s traditional platform. 

But the choice of funds and shares that investors can buy and sell via their phone will be restricted to just 80. To put this into perspective, investors who use AJ Bell’s online platform have more than 8,000 funds and equities to choose from. 

Research ahead of the launch has indicated that nearly two in five adults are put off investing because they don’t know how to start. 

Nearly half say they would be encouraged to invest if the options offered were more limited – and therefore easier to choose from – than currently available through an online platform. 

Andy Bell, chief executive of AJ Bell, says the new app will provide people with a ‘simple investment journey’. He believes it will ‘appeal particularly to those new to investing and who want an easy way to manage their investments’. 

He adds: ‘It needn’t be scary, hence the use of a friendly monster in our branding. In developing Dodl, we’ve focused on removing jargon, making it quick and easy to open an account – and narrowing the range of investments that customers have to choose from.’ 

You can open an account through the mobile phone app in just a few minutes – with the key information required being a National Insurance number (although my initial attempt wasn’t without its problems – see below). 

Money can be paid into the account via Apple or Google Pay and debit card. Investors can choose between investing in an Isa, pension or a general investment account. 

There is no setting-up charge and no dealing fees, just an annual account charge of 0.15 per cent of the total invested – subject to a minimum of £1 a month. 

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