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Compare the UK’s cheapest online brokers

Last updated on 11 February 2018.

Behold! An at-a-glance cost comparison of the UK’s main online brokers and investment platforms. These services enable you to buy, manage, and sell your funds, shares, investment trusts and ETFs at a cheap price. All these services are online and execution-only.

The Good for column shows what we think is the best deal by price, relative to account type and portfolio mix.1

This table is edited by fallible human beings. Do your own research. We fix mistakes as soon as possible but we cannot be held liable or accountable for any errors. Please add updates or erratas in the comments below.

Like other price comparison websites, we may be paid a bonus if you sign-up via a link. This does not affect what you pay.

Hate maths? Let our comparison tool do the sums for you.

Flat fee brokers / platforms

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing: Funds Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee2 Good for
Interactive Investor3    £90 £22.50 worth of free trades every quarter £10* £10* £1 £0 if account open less than a year. £10 per holding otherwise.  Min £30/Max £250
Shares ISA
Trading  –
SIPP + £120 + £120 drawdown + £90 Alternative to ShareDeal Active
ShareDeal Active Telephone dealing only for funds £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account closure Large SIPP portfolios
Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading £18 cash withdrawal
SIPP £0 if SIPP is linked to dealing account. Otherwise £118.80. +£180 drawdown + £60 Fund portfolios over £60K and mixed ETF/Fund portfolios over £50K
Halifax Share Dealing £12.50 £12.50 £2
Shares ISA £12.50 £25 per holding. £125 max Alternative to Lloyds, Selftrade
Trading £25 per holding. £125 max Alternative to Lloyds, Share Centre, Selftrade
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 drawdown4 £60 per transfer. Max £300 £25 per holding (£215 max) +£90
iWeb £25 one-off account opening charge Does not apply to SIPP £5 £5 Large portfolios and infrequent traders, check vs ii, Lloyds, Share Centre, and Halifax
Shares ISA £25 per holding. £125 max
Trading £25 per holding. £125 max
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50K. £180 if SIPP more than £50K + £180 drawdown5 £60 per transfer. Max £300 £25 per holding (£215 max) +£90
Lloyds Bank Share Dealing £40 Only one £40 charge if you hold ISA and trading account £1.50 £11* £1.50 £25 per holding. £125 max
Shares ISA Fund portfolios over £26K6, mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £36K7
Trading Fund portfolios over £26K8, mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £36K9
SIPP n/a
The Share Centre 1%. £7.50 min* 1%. £7.50 min* 0.5%. Min £1 £25 per holding Large trading accounts
Shares ISA £57.60
Trading £21.60 Alternative to Lloyds, Selftrade
SIPP £172.80 + £234 drawdown £90 if in drawdown  +£120 if in drawdown
Clubfinance Frequent Trader £15 inactivity fee per quarter. Waived by 3 trades per quarter 0.21% fee on debit card payments in, use BACs £4.95 £4.95 £15 per holding Frequent traders
Shares ISA
SIPP n/a
Alliance Trust Savings 4 free trades p.a. £9.99* £9.99* £1.50
Shares ISA £120 £120
Trading £120 £72
SIPP £252 £342 drawdown 1% of value capped at £18010

Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT. *A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available.

Percentage fee brokers / platforms

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee11 Good for
Vanguard Investor 0.15% on first £250,000, 0% thereafter. Tiered charge. Max £375  Investments restricted to Vanguard funds and ETFs only £0 £0 twice per day, £7.50 to trade at other times £0 £0 Beats other % fee brokers in most cases and flat-fee brokers up to £40-£56K but restricted range
Shares ISA Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £39K
Trading Fund portfolios up to £43K, mixed ETF/fund up to £56K, ETF portfolios up to £39K
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% on all investments £0 £8.95 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
SIPP £90 drawdown
Cavendish Online 0.25% on all investments 0.20% on whole balance if over £200K in all accounts combined £0 £10 £1.50 £0 Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA Fund portfolios below £26K
Trading Fund portfolios below £26K
SIPP Fund portfolios below £60K, mixed ETF/fund below £50K
Charles Stanley Direct 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds12 0.25% on shares, ETFs and ITs. Min £24 / Max £24013 £0 £11.50 £10 per holding Small fund portfolios
Shares ISA
SIPP + £120 No £120 charge if £30,000+ across all accounts. £180 drawdown + £150
Selftrade 0.3% on first £50K of funds. 0.25% £50K – £250K. 0.15% over £250K. £1,000 max. Tiered £12 inactivity fee per quarter. Waived by single trade per quarter or if any funds held £0 buy, £11.75 sell £9.99* ETFs,£11.75* shares £1.50 ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £15 per holding ETF portfolios over £22K14
Trading £15 per holding ETF portfolios over £22K15
SIPP + £118.80 + £180 drawdown £90
Fidelity 0.35% on all assets worth £7500 – £250,00016 £45 p.a. if assets worth under £7500, or 0.35% with monthly savings plan17 £0 £10 for ETFs / ITs £1.50
Shares ISA ETF and IT fees capped at £45
Trading ETF and IT fees do not apply
SIPP ETF and IT fees capped at £45
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% on first £250,000 of funds18 0.25% on first £250K then 0.1% on next £750K etc £1.50 £9.95* £1.50 £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.25% charge (max £30) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
Trading + 0.25% charge (max £30) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
SIPP + 0.25% charge (max £100) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds. + £120 drawdown + £90 ETF portfolios below £15K
Bestinvest Platform fee applies to all investments Tiered charge e.g. 0.4% on first £250K, 0.2% on next £750K etc £0 £7.50
Shares ISA 0.4% on first £250,00019 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
Trading 0.4% on first £250,00020 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million
SIPP 0.3% on first £250,00021. No drawdown fee 0.2% £250,001 – £1 million, 0% over £1 million + £150
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds (£48 min, £1500 max) 0.1% on ETFs, ITs, shares, bonds £3 £6* £1 £30 per holding
Shares ISA ETF portfolios below £22K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £36K
Trading ETF portfolios below £22K, mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £36K
SIPP + £150 + £120 drawdown £90 per transfer capped at £450 + £90
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% on first £250,000 of funds22 Tiered charge. You pay 0.45% on first £250K then 0.25% on next £750K etc £0 £11.95* £1.5023 £30 account closure + £25 per holding
Shares ISA + 0.45% charge (max £45) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds
SIPP + 0.45% (max £200) on ETFs, ITs, shares, and bonds No drawdown fee
Aviva 0.4% on first £50,000 of funds24 Tiered charge. You pay 0.4% on first £50K then 0.35% on next £200K etc £0 £0
Shares ISA

Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT. *A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available.

Share dealing brokers

Company Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee25 Good for
Degiro  – Degiro may lend out your shares. A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts26 n/a Commission free ETF selection. €2 + 0.02% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.004% for shares27 €10 per holding €10 per holding No trading costs on select ETF range,28 frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk No funds n/a £5.95 SIPP ETF portfolios with unrestricted range
Shares ISA £18 per holding +£60 account closure
Trading £18 per holding
SIPP £0 £0 if SIPP is linked to dealing account. Otherwise £118.80. +£180 drawdown £60 ETF portfolios over £15K
Interactive Brokers $10 inactivity fee per month. Reduced by value of trades29 $10,000 min to open account. $20 inactivity fee if equity balance below $2,00030 n/a £631 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA
SIPP Fees vary

Note: All prices include VAT.

Who is this online broker comparison table aimed at?

We have focussed on low cost platforms that suit DIY investors who want to build a diversified portfolio through index funds and ETFs. The Good for column is therefore biased towards passive investors.

Percentage fee brokers are much better for small investors whose assets are likely to remain below £25,000 (in an ISA) or £70,000 (in a SIPP) for some time to come. If you can only invest small amounts at a time then choose a broker who charges £0 for fund dealing. (Aim to pay no more than 0.5% of your contribution in dealing costs, at the very most).

Fixed fees take a disproportionate chunk out of the assets of small investors. This is why Charles Stanley, Close Bros or Cavendish Online are generally the best for small investors using ISAs and Best Invest or Cavendish Online is best for small investors using SIPPs.

Flat fee brokers are better for most investors who’ve accumulated over £25,000 (in an ISA) or £70,000 (in a SIPP) – percentage fees can siphon off eye-watering amounts if your broker doesn’t apply a cap. Sadly, the table is complicated because every broker is trying to carve out a niche for itself by offering something slightly different to its competitors.

That means there is no one size fits all solution. The Good for column in the table gives you an idea of each broker’s strengths.

Our calculations assume one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available. Portfolios consist of funds or ETFs or a 50:50 mix.

ETFs vs fund portfolios – Below around £25,000 you’re probably better off with funds. There’s very little to separate Interactive Investor, Halifax, Lloyds, iWeb, YouInvest, Selftrade and Share Centre above that level if you’re a moderate trader using either product type. Ultimately, product OCFs, your trading frequency and picking the right tracker for the job will be more important.

Beginners starting in funds should look at Cavendish Online or Close Bros. 
Low traders – check iWeb and Halifax for ISAs.
Whichever broker you plump for, do check it carries the funds you require. There is considerable variation in range between platforms.

Where is my missing broker?

We haven’t included every last option in this version of our table but we have included the most competitive players in the market. Do let us know if you think we’ve missed anyone important.

More on costs and fees

The ‘Platform charge’ category is intended to capture the various types of service fee typically levied by platforms i.e. custody fee, platform charge, administration fee, inactivity fee and so on until the end of time / your tether.

Assume platform charges are levied per account unless otherwise indicated in the notes column or the footnotes.

Platforms levy various additional costs for extras such as telephone trading. Check a platform’s rates and charges schedule before committing.

These costs are on top of the suite of fees you will pay for investment products such as the Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF).

Take some time to calculate the likely cost of your portfolio when choosing the right broker.

SIPP charges on the table don’t include the various additional fees levied for services once you’re in drawdown.

Platforms run temporary offers and discounts from time-to-time. These are ignored as investing is for the long-term.

Understanding account names

Accounts names vary across the discount broker universe. However they typically conform to the following types:

  • Trading = taxable account i.e. not an ISA or a SIPP. Suitable investments typically include funds, shares,Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Investment Trusts (ITs), bonds and more.
  • Shares ISA = Stocks and Shares ISA. Tax sheltered. Suitable investments as above.
    • SIPP = Self-Invested Personal Pension. Tax sheltered. Suitable investments as above.

Why are there only links to some brokers?

Links to brokers are affiliate links, where we may be paid a fee if you go on to open an account with them. We do not choose to include brokers in our table based on whether such affiliate fees are on offer, nor does the existence of such an arrangement change the fees you pay – it is a marketing payment made by them as an incentive for websites to drive traffic to their site. We’d like more brokers to pay us when we introduce new customers – it helps us pay our way on Monevator! Including all brokers but only linking where an affiliate agreement is in place was the best compromise we could come up with.

What this table won’t tell you

Some of these brokers may not be regulated by the UK authorities. Please check directly with each broker, and read our guide to investor compensation schemes to understand why this matters.

We’ve not considered customer service and fringe benefits such as website user experience and research tools, which may be meaningful. Ask away here or at Money Saving Expert’s Savings & Investments board, the ex-Motley Foolers on the Lemon Fool board, or reddit for a broader opinion.

We haven’t accounted for exclusive, discounted funds. Most platforms stock much the same range but the bigger players in the market can negotiate slight fee discounts on certain funds. If you’re tempted by those ‘bargain’ offers then make very sure that your overall cost of investment isn’t more expensive once you load the platforms fees on top.

Please tell us about additions or corrections using the comment form below. Please supply a Web link to your data if possible in your comment to help us verify what should go into the table.

We’ll keep this table as up-to-date as possible, and conduct a sweeping review every three months.

  1. Our calculations assume one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available. Portfolios consist of funds or ETFs or a 50:50 mix. []
  2. Out to another broker []
  3. Also known as ii []
  4. £300 if age 75+ []
  5. £300 if age 75+ []
  6. £43K vs Vanguard []
  7. £56K vs Vanguard []
  8. £43K vs Vanguard []
  9. £56K vs Vanguard []
  10. No charge for SIPP opened after 31 Mar 2017 if you’re over 55. []
  11. Out to another broker []
  12. 0.2% £250,001 – £500,000, 0.15% £500,001 – £1million, 0.05%£1million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. []
  13. Charge waived by 1 trade per month. []
  14. £39K vs Vanguard []
  15. £39K vs Vanguard []
  16. 0.2% £250,000 – £1 million. Charges not tiered. Charge capped at £1 million. Treat multiple accounts as one, e.g. 0.2% applies to all assets once £250K barrier crossed. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  17. ETF and IT fees capped at £45. []
  18. 0.1% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.05% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million []
  19. Charge applies to each account separately []
  20. Charge applies to each account separately []
  21. Charge applies to each account separately []
  22. 0.25% £250,001 – £1 million, 0.1% £1 million – £2 million, 0% over £2 million. Charge applies to each account separately []
  23. on FTSE 350 shares, some ETFs and ITs []
  24. 0.35% £50,001 – £250,000, 0.25% £250,001 – £500,000, 0% over £500,000. []
  25. Out to another broker []
  26. No funds. []
  27. £5 max []
  28. Note, these are ETFs traded on US and European exchanges not LSE. []
  29. e.g. $10 fee – $6 trade = $4 actual fee that month. Waived on $100,000+ accounts. []
  30. Under 25s can open an account with $3,000 and the inactivity fee is $3. []
  31. up to £50,000 value. £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value over £50,000. Max £29 []
{ 2035 comments… add one }
  • 1951 GRG December 14, 2017, 6:05 pm

    Rob you missed X-O no account fees £5.95 per trade. They hold just about everything on the LSE, you just can’t deal on foreign exchanges.
    On another point has anyone any thoughts on what will be the situation (tax etc) regarding ETFs domiciled in Ireland & Luxembourg after Brexit.

  • 1952 Sally Morris December 16, 2017, 11:28 am

    Interactive Investor migration to their new system now requires a mobile number as a two step security however if this was not stored on the old system you have to phone them (and hold for 10 minutes), go through security (you need your account number) and they will arrange to send out a temporary password … by post which they estimate will take 4-5 working days to arrive. Great timing given the Christmas post. Could have been avoided if they had run a scan of accounts with missing mobile numbers and posted out a password in advance of the migration. Just a thought but epitomises my dealing with this company when things of their own making go wrong.
    Offering reduced rate dealing (at the frequent rate) for remainder of December as compensation.
    Also been notified that dividend reinvestment is no longer available for funds or shares listed on international exchanges.
    Documents from April 2017 onwards i.e. the most likely to be needed, are still being migrated.
    Linked accounts (where family member Isa & trading accounts were free) have been discontinued.
    The SIPP ‘no trading credit fee’ option has been discontinued so will be moved on to base account fee + Sipp fee
    Trading – looking through the trades which go through at the time I place a trade, invariably the price I get from II is the worst of the bunch i.e I seem to pay the highest price when buying and get the lowest price when selling. I have also tested against HL and X-O trying to place trades at the same time and their quotes are always seem tighter than I get offered by II. On penny shares this can be a big spread or on big trades this can result in up to a hundred pounds of additional cost, negating any savings on a seemingly attractive platform charge.
    Fortunately there are now a greater selection of fixed fee providers and have been very impressed with X-O and especially their Sipp admin (gaudi). No funds but suits me.

  • 1953 Rob December 16, 2017, 12:08 pm

    Just been having a look at XO as it’s been mentioned a few times. The dealing fees are £5.95 and it says they don’t have other charges: “Unlike some of our competitors, we don’t charge account opening fees, management fees or inactivity fees etc.”. When I looked deeper I found that there’s a review and dispute charge of £25 (no idea what that is), and if you ever want to leave (which we all most of us do at some point) of £15 per each stock held and on top of that an ISA account closure fee of £50. (there’s also things like unpaid chq fee of a whopping £50 and a late payment fee of £20). Transferring out an ISA from XO would be comparatively extortionate even by many other platforms’ standards.

  • 1954 PA December 16, 2017, 4:44 pm

    @Sally Morris (1952) – II migration mobile issue
    II sent out 2 secure messages BEFORE migration stating in detail what to do pre-migration. Steps followed and no problems encountered, very smooth. Not much more they could have done IMHO

  • 1955 IvanK. December 17, 2017, 3:44 pm

    @ Sally Morris: interesting observations.

    I’ve read elsewhere of other people stating the very same. When they check their trades on LSE, their off-book trades via II fare marginally worse for prices given compared to other trades executed at the same time via other brokers. Probably no big deal if one is only trading in small tranches, but as you say, far more significant if trading larger tranches. Perhaps something for people to keep a close eye on to see if there’s a distinct pattern to these observations, rather than something that only happens occasionally.

  • 1956 Alex December 17, 2017, 7:10 pm

    I’ve noticed that IG now operates in the UK, and offers ISAs and SIPPS: https://www.ig.com/uk/investments/isa

    The SIPP has an annual fee of £195, bit the ISA comes with no running charges at all, fixed or percentage (like iWeb) and a fixed per deal cost of £8: https://www.ig.com/uk/investments/share-dealing/costs-fees

    I still don’t see how they would really “win” for anyone; they don’t have access to funds, they don’t have a regular investing option, they don’t let you buy anything fixed interest (it really is share dealing only), their SIPP offering is no cheaper than the average, and for all that iWeb are cheaper and more established anyway (and give you funds), Cavendish are great for smaller portfolios, and Interactive Investor cover pretty much everyone else with larger portfolios.

    But nevertheless, they might be worth adding to the “share dealing” section at the bottom the next time the table is due to a full refresh.

  • 1957 premierfella December 18, 2017, 4:36 pm

    Not a “win” as such, but the most obvious selling point of IG thus far (pre-whatever the new charges in 2018 are confirmed as) for me has been as a sound stopping point for buy and hold share portfolios transferring from elsewhere because of the cashback offer and zero transfer out fees if and when you want to take the portfolio to a more permanent home (at least that was the reason I took any notice of them over the cheaper/better spec alternatives you mention).

  • 1958 premierfella December 18, 2017, 4:41 pm

    Additional: I should say that before considering IG I would be wanting to know more about their rates on share deals over £25,000 – I have one or two holdings above or close to that and I’d want to make sure that “agreed by negotiation” isn’t shorthand for “a pain to trade and we’ll stiff you on the commission rate”.

  • 1959 Ian December 22, 2017, 12:12 pm

    I am looking for the best place to open a SIPP but I think I am missing something with the numbers. Interactive Investor has a £90 platform fee, and then a further £120 SIPP fee, so a total of £210. At the standard 1 purchase per month and 4 sales per year, the £22.50 of free trades per quarter means there is no more cost over and above £210.

    Close Brothers is a standard 0.25% fee with no trading fees. The “good for” column says Close Brothers is best for portfolios under £70k, Interactive Investor for portfolios over £70k, but a £75k portfolio would cost £187.50 at Close Brothers and the standard £210 at Interactive Investor.

    Is there some charge I am not seeing, or should the cut-over point be more like £84k?

  • 1960 mikamola December 22, 2017, 12:52 pm

    Any other II customers less than impressed with the new platform? I mean yes, it’s got a few new bells and whistles etc but whilst the old one was rather dull at least it seemed solid enough. Since the upgrade i seem to get occasionally logged out for no reason at all, and more worryingly a fund purchase order i made on Wednesday night (usually then actioned on the Thursday) is still sat there at time of writing! (Friday morning). I mean sure I’m not trading in the sense it acutely matters when it happens, but I’m not entirely sure this upgrade has been a good idea.

    Will see what their response is to this and consider my options if no improvements seem forthcoming …

  • 1961 Ric December 22, 2017, 8:20 pm

    Re IG new charges.

    Today I had a reply from IG confirming the new charging scheme that will be introduced; £25 per quarter but if you place at least 3 trades in the quarter you will not be charged.

    Separately to this, in the terms (para 12-3) it says they can hold your money random overseas in territories not protected by the usual European Economic Area compensation schemes and in the event of a bank failure you could loose your cash. I assumed this was only if you were trading in the applicable foreign territory (so the funds would be available for trading) but today IG confirmed to me this applies even in respect of money held for transactions within the European Economic Area. I’m slightly worried about this. I guess it is so they can earn more interest on any cash funds held, which they then keep for themselves (as covered in one of the other conditions). I’ve not bothered reading on in the terms to see if there are any other potential issues.

    In my own case I’ve not yet decided if to carry on considering IG or if to look elsewhere for a replacement broker, or even if to stick with III. I wish there was another broker like IWeb or X-O, but I’ve got as much as I’m comfortable with in each of these brokers already.

  • 1962 Susan December 23, 2017, 3:37 pm

    @mikamola – very much less than impressed. I don’t know what the bells and whistles are, but I’m getting very irritated with their stop/loss system. I used to be able to stack them up (is just add a new, higher one when the stock rose). Now I can’t have more than one s/l on any stock and I have to cancel it before setting up the new one. It’s also incredibly slow getting them set up. Also not impressed with having only to put in three digits to get into my account – it really doens’t feel very secure.

  • 1963 Dawn January 3, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Anyone any thoughts on me moving my pension savings from aviva who currently charge 0.87% on £63,000 portfolio. If i move to best invest and buy etfs id half those fees. I intend to use up this part of my portfolio in the next 15 yrs through drawdown. Is it worth it ??? After ive taken my cash free sum ..theyd be .£50,000 ish over 15 yrs @ 0.87% or 0.45% if i move .iwould do it if my timeline was longer but 15 yrs ???

  • 1964 Tom January 3, 2018, 8:11 pm

    @Dawn : in the interim while you are considering options for leaving Aviva, you might look at a transfer *within* Aviva to a cheaper product. I’ve got an Aviva Stakeholder. If I had 63k in it, the cost would be 0.5%pa all in. I was talking the Aviva today on a similar matter and they confirmed that transfers between Aviva pension products, &within Aviva, are free.

    For what its worth, my plan is to wait for Vanguard to reveal its SIPP product (promised for 2018) and then jump (somewhere) from Aviva. (So if you come up with anything, don’t forget to report back here!)

  • 1965 Jeffrey Beranek January 3, 2018, 8:19 pm

    Well, assuming that your charges of 0.87% and o.45% represented *all* your costs (for both options) and assuming you had no growth over 15 years of withdrawals until nothing was left, then you would save about £1,600 switching to Best Invest. Is the service or funds you get with Aviva worth at least £1,600 more to you than what you can get at Best Invest? Don’t forget to include any trading costs, costs of underlying funds/ETFs, drawdown fees, etc.

  • 1966 Todd January 4, 2018, 12:08 pm

    Would appreciate some advice on my savings plan. I have Santander 123 account with 10K+ gaining 1.5% up to 20k. 2k in vanguards ls 80 acc ss isa (UK). It’s on about 3% average. Is there anything else I could do to maximise my savings?

  • 1967 Dawn January 4, 2018, 12:28 pm

    Wow, tom thanks for that i didnt know that information regarding aviva! Glad i posted my question now. Il phone aviva today . Mmm also vanguard introducing a sipp option .ill report back on here .

  • 1968 Dawn January 4, 2018, 12:37 pm

    Hi jeffery thanks for response. Yes your thoughts are the same as mine have been . I expect there would be growth in the fund over 15 yrs. Also id reduce my US exposure and increase EM .ive made enquires regarding the drawdown costs on both again theres still a saving if i moved to bestinvest .aviva said id be out the market (in cash)during the transfer which worries me and best invest said the move can take weeks but i could move in specie so im getting conflicting info. I like what tom has explained to me above. Ill see about moving within aviva to get my costs to 0.5%.rFirst.

  • 1969 Tom January 4, 2018, 12:46 pm


    This is how I opened my SH with Aviva: https://www.cavendishonline.co.uk/pensions/stakeholder-and-personal-pensions/aviva/ . Cost was £35.
    Once open, I guess the ‘free’ transfer from your existing Aviva pension would be feasible.
    If you do go down the Aviva SH route, note that the Fund list is quite short (43), However Monevator’s S&S tracker approach *is* just about possible.

  • 1970 Jeffrey Beranek January 4, 2018, 1:38 pm

    @Dawn: I wouldn’t worry about being ‘out of the market’ for a short while. You are probably changing your underlying funds, so you’ll anyway suffer a small buy/sell spread. The market is just as likely to go down as up during the transfer.

    @Todd: Don’t mix up ‘savings’ with ‘investments’. If you might need to spend the cash at short notice in the next 3-5 year’s, leave it in cash. For such small amounts you could open 1 or 2 interest paying current accounts (e.g. Nationwide FlexDirect) or a couple Regular Savers (Santander and Nationwide). Also, dividends from diversified trackers may be fairly steady, the capital value is not. It could drop in value just when you need it.

  • 1971 geok January 4, 2018, 1:45 pm

    Slight change of topic: I have not been able to find any reviews from users of telegraphinvestor, degiro, lloyds Bank share dealing , James Hay platforms. Has anyone had any negative/positive experience or lessons to share regarding the above? I most interested dealing funds but would not mind going into an ETF portfolio entirely (with degiro) if their platform works.

    Thank you in advance and happy new year everyone!

  • 1972 Dawn January 4, 2018, 2:57 pm

    @tom. Been in touch with Aviva and i can move my personal pension into their stake holder pension where i can sell my existing funds and rebuy blackrock tracker funds for a total cost of 0.55 % pa .draw down sounds ok as well at no extra cost up 6 free withdrawels ad hoc pa. So looking like i might take that root. Thats saves me 0.33% pa in charges over 15 yrs.

  • 1973 Tom January 4, 2018, 3:23 pm


    Did you see the Cavendish link I posted above? Cavendish is probably the cheapest way to buy into the Aviva SH (I researched this several times over the yrs). The rate they give you from Aviva is also fixed for the lifetime of the SH. Also non-tiered so you get the full reduction on your entire investment when you move up a tier. I started off @0.55% and moved down to .5 @ £50k+ and then finally 0.45 for 100k+. Suggest ringing Cavendish and having a chat before signing on the dotted..

    ps Happy to receive a late Xmas Gift should this *non-advice* prove valuable..

  • 1974 Jeffrey Beranek January 4, 2018, 4:14 pm

    I switched my Aviva personal pension into Cavendish a long time ago and it worked pretty much as described. In the end I switched out to an AJ Bell SIPP for even lower charges and a wider choice of funds. There’s not much in it, but I have very low trading needs, wanted access to a few esoteric funds and have quite a large balance, so AJ Bell suited me better. Having had a number of company and personal pensions over the years (Sun Life, Standard Life, Aviva, Halifax) and being fleeced on charges, I don’t ever want to have anything to do with them again. I think the charges you pay are directly proportional to the amount of junk they send you in the post! They do everything they can to hide what your actual overall charges/costs are. It’s very difficult to track what you are actually paying and how you are performing, especially when you switch between funds. The gumpf tells you how much your portfolio has “grown” by including your contributions, but you have to explicitly write to them to get a full list of priced transactions. However, these days you can get Blackrock, Vanguard and in-house cheap tracker funds, so it’s harder to justify switching out. I’m not sure if they offer physical gold ETFs/funds. You could always open a BullionVault account outside your SIPP, as you’re unlikely to ever need to sell enough in one go to trigger capital gain tax, (note that you wouldn’t get tax relief this way – or “deferred tax” as I prefer to call it).

  • 1975 Dawn January 4, 2018, 4:40 pm

    @tom ,yes i clicked on the cavendish link like you said. I then rang Aviva and spent most of day talking to them. I will look into cavendish. I dont expect my fund to get to £100,000 unless stock market goes beserk! after ive taken my cash free bit out in 2.5 yrs ill be down to £50,000 ish to use up over next 12 yrs So % fees at 0.55% i think are ok. Drawdown fees r the same 0.55% on total and 6 free with drawals pa. Yes might be able to shave off another 0.10% but may have other fees to pay. Also they got blackrock trackers .

  • 1976 Dawn January 4, 2018, 4:56 pm

    @tom .also im sure somewhere in my notes cavendish on line dont offer drawdown. As thats my intention in 3 to 5 yrs time.

  • 1977 Tom January 4, 2018, 5:04 pm


    I have to agree re Aviva and the deliberate obscurantism applied to performance/charges/costs. Even with a legally constrained product like a SH, with its fixed, all-inclusive charge based only on sum invested, they still try to make it difficult. Some years ago I was trying to judge whether they had actually reduced the charges when I exceeded a tier (50k) and therfore requested a breakdown. Sure they sent it, but artfully disincluded several columns that I had to recalculate/estimate. When I came to the next tier I asked them for another breakdown. This time I spoke with a bloke in the backoffice (‘ok’, he thought) and then I wrote (‘belt&braces’, I thought) confirming the exact information I needed..and got back the same incomplete info.

    Bye the bye, its one of the reasons I’ve stayed so long with a SH – I know I can legally get out of Aviva with no sudden Leaving/MarketValue type charges and move elsewhere. However I think it will be finally time to go after the Vanguard SIPP has shaken up the pension market this year.

  • 1978 Jeffrey Beranek January 4, 2018, 5:10 pm

    Regarding Cavendish not offering drawdown, I don’t believe that’s true. For example if you hold an Aviva Stakeholder pension through Cavendish, they (Cavendish) are just acting as a low-cost execution-only broker in place of a tied broker or IFA. So you still get all the normal features of the Aviva pension. Note also, that really when you come to actually accessing your pension you should do a whole of market review to check which platform suits you best. The platform during accumulation is not necessarily the best for drawdown, even if it might mean paying a charge to switch.

  • 1979 Tom January 4, 2018, 5:14 pm


    I wasn’t suggesting using Cavendish as the platform/pension provider. Cavendish also act as a reseller of, in this case, an Aviva SH product. They negotiated a deal with Aviva which is a better one than Aviva will themselves offer to you or me. Part of the ‘better deal’ is, I believe, better rates. In my case having bought the product via cavendish (the link above) I thereafter dealt&deal solely with Aviva. Cav remain ‘on the books’ as my IFA but I don’t pay them and they don’t do work for me.

  • 1980 Dawn January 4, 2018, 5:21 pm

    @Jeffery. mmm i think there’s not alot between the whole bunch of SH ,sipps etc and 0.5% in fees is ok. But as Tom says vanguard might shake the whole market up when they release their sipp this year.

  • 1981 Jeffrey Beranek January 4, 2018, 9:50 pm

    @geok: You can knock Telegraph Investor off your list because that no longer exists, customers were switched to Interactive Investor. Lloyd’s share a banking license with Halifax Share Dealing and iWeb, but they all appear to offer different charges, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if these got merged/rationalised one day. I think James Hay would be regarded as a ‘full SIPP’ provider, aimed at larger advised portfolios, often holding non standard assets such as commercial property, gold bullion, etc. I’d be surprised if their costs are lower than others on the list.

  • 1982 Charlie January 8, 2018, 7:59 pm

    In case anyone else missed it, I see that Fidelity now offer a regular investment option:
    “Regular savings or reinvestment are charged at £1.50*.”

    Anyone know if this applies only to new contributions or if this can be used to invest cash already on account? The mention of “reinvestment” makes me optimistic.

  • 1983 Sam...wise January 10, 2018, 4:12 pm

    Hello all,

    I have a relatively small investment in HL Vantage ISA, which I would like to move to a different broker to reduce fees. I have not paid into this ISA this year because I opened a Vanguard ISA and paid into that. I would like to know if I am able to open an account with another broker (eg. Cavendish Online) and transfer my HL ISA, even though I have opened and paid into Vanguard ISA this year? I probably won’t close my HL account, as I have a small amount of money in a HL specific fund that I am happy to leave ticking over. But I would like to transfer all other moneys.

    Clarification much appreciated. Thanks!

  • 1984 Robbo January 11, 2018, 1:05 pm

    Sam…wise yes you can transfer your existing HL ISA to a new provider.

  • 1985 Charlie January 11, 2018, 1:07 pm

    @Sam…wise, yep you can do that transfer no problem. You still can’t pay “new money” into any S&S ISA other than your Vanguard one during the current tax year, but transferring around previous year’s subscriptions is certainly allowed. Note that transfer of cash is quicker than doing an in-specie transfer which can take months (in-specie transfer avoids selling securities at one broker + rebuying at another, thus avoiding “time out of the market”).

  • 1986 Jeffrey Beranek January 11, 2018, 1:34 pm

    Actually, that’s not quite right. Check the ISA rules carefully, they are fully explained on any ISA provider’s website. You can only contribute to ‘this year’s current ISA’ up the allowed amount. You can transfer that ISA entirely to a new provider and continue to contribute if you wish, within the limit, in the same year. You can also transfer previous year’s ISA money, but in practice everything is usually all in one big pot so it’s easier just to transfer everything in one go. Just make sure you don’t try to add money to more than one ISA in one year while they are both still open.

  • 1987 Robbo January 11, 2018, 1:46 pm

    @ Jeffrey Beranek which part is not quite right? I believe Sam just wants to transfer a previous years ISA to a new provider, which is fine. He will leave this years ISA where it is. BTW not everyone has their ISA’s in one place e.g. you may want to diversify across brokers.

  • 1988 Charlie January 11, 2018, 1:52 pm

    Probably my comment that “You still can’t pay “new money” into any S&S ISA other than your Vanguard one during the current tax year” is technically incorrect in the general case – I was assuming Sam would leave that with Vanguard for remainder of current tax year.

    It’s hard to boil the ISA rules down to short comments, but I agree with what Jeffrey wrote. Subscriptions from the current tax year (“new money”) must stick together in one place (although can move around as Jeffrey said). Subscriptions from previous tax years can be split via transfers as Sam wanted to do.

  • 1989 Jeffrey Beranek January 11, 2018, 2:08 pm

    Sorry, but it wasn’t clear where the different funds were held. As you say, money in previous year’s ISAs can be transferred okay. However, if you are leaving some funds behind in the old ISA then you would actually be doing an ISA “split”, which might complicate things further.

  • 1990 Sam... wise January 11, 2018, 2:55 pm

    Thanks Chaps.

    I was indeed intending to leave my current ISA (Vanguard) where it is and only move my “old” (HL) ISA.

    The only concern is Jeffery’s comment regarding an ISA split. One of the funds in the HL ISA is a HL specific fund. I was thinking of leaving this particular fund with HL and move the rest. Reason being, I wouldn’t have to close the account and I wouldn’t have to reinvest the money from the HL specific fund. I thought that this would be most convenient although it seems maybe it is not!

    Maybe for now I will simply leave the old ISA all with HL. I’d only be saving about £10/year with a move at this time.

  • 1991 Fred Jones January 13, 2018, 12:55 am

    ii – Interactive Investor is actually one of the cheapest to hold a portfolio of and reinvest the dividends – a typical portfolio of say 15-20 shares will pay about 60 dividends per year, along with say eight trades per year will cost £60 + £80 total £140, less the credit of £90/yr from the quarterly fee of £22.50. So the annual cost is only £30.

    I don’t think any other platform is as cheap.

  • 1992 Jeffrey Beranek January 13, 2018, 11:14 am

    I personally don’t like the incentive to trade more. At iWeb it costs £25 to open the account. Thereafter trades cost £5 and there are no other fees. I have 20+ dividend paying shares and at the moment I’m mostly just withdrawing the natural yield, for a total annual cost of zero.

  • 1993 DeethDaa January 19, 2018, 4:01 pm

    Interactive Investor.

    I have had Interactive Investor (II) accounts for nearly a decade (ISA & Trading). However, in the last few years I have become more and more uncomfortable with having the the majority of my bonds and equities portfolio held by them.

    A few years ago I did start to diversify away from II by opening a TD Direct account, but sods law, TD Direct has now been bought by II.

    The reason I am uncomfortable with II, is that I have to continually monitor my accounts. On numerous occasions I have dividends/coupons unpaid/part-paid, cash go “missing”, and random transactions and alterations to the Transaction History.

    The most recent episode, is the transfer of a TD Direct ISA to an II ISA, in which the shares and bonds were transfered successfully, but the cash went “missing”. When I pointed this out, they sent me a cheque, despite the fact I had stated I did not wish for the cash to be removed from its tax wrapper. However, I have had a reply this morning from II, and hope this is now resolved. I never had any such issues with TD Direct, who also always paid the dividends on time

    Like stated by others above, I too preferred the old II interface, but now they are using the same one that TD Direct used, so I have some familiarity with it.

    I am therefore looking once again to move or diversify away from II.

    Looking at the the table above (many thanks Monevator), and as I wish to use a flat fee platform, I am considering either Halifax (have a current account with them) or iWeb.

    I would therefore be grateful if anybody could give me feedback regarding these platforms.

    I have a mixture of ETF’s, shares, funds, corporate bonds and some Gilts.
    The current value of the portfolio is in the mid. six figures.

    Also, if anybody else has had issues with II, I would be interested to hear, as I would like to know if I have just been unlucky or this is a common occurrence.

    Many thanks.

  • 1994 Vanguardfan January 19, 2018, 5:33 pm

    For the record, I left II due to concerns about administrative competence. I’m with iWeb, which has been fine for my needs, which are rather undemanding. I only buy funds with them. I don’t check distributions for lateness or accuracy (perhaps I should?!) and I can’t recall any major problems. Or any minor ones either.

  • 1995 DeethDaa January 19, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Thanks Vanguardfan, thats good to know.

    I would say my needs are also fairly undemanding, as I probably average two to three trades a month.

    Regarding “checking distributions”, I must confess my wife reckons I have OCD and calls me Scrouge MacDuck.

    Once again, thanks for your feedback.

  • 1996 UXR January 21, 2018, 1:44 pm

    Does anyone happen to know if the following is permissible under the ISA rules if you have two S&S ISAs open:
    1) use ISA1 for all funding and investing between April and the following February
    2) around February/March, stop funding ISA1, and do a full in-specie transfer of everything held in ISA1 to ISA2
    3) wait till year end
    4) repeat steps 1-3 in each financial year. I.e., fund ISA1 year-round, and then transfer fully to ISA2 just before end of year.

    In other words, ISA1 is for regular purchasing every month (% fee platform – £0 cost usually), whilst ISA2 is essentially just for holding your investments (on a fixed fee platform).

    Is one allowed to do that?

  • 1997 Charlie January 21, 2018, 2:39 pm

    @UXR sounds complicated – what problem are you trying to solve?

    Some thoughts:
    – I assume step (3) is really “wait until TAX year end.”
    – A full in-specie transfer from ISA1 will likely cause that account to be closed, so you’ll need to re-open it later on.
    – In-specie transfers can be slow. Think I’ve had one that took almost 3-months.
    – When running multiple ISAs of the same type, you need to follow the rule that “subscriptions from the current tax year (‘new money’) must stick together in one place”. So once you transfer all your current-year subscriptions to ISA2, then ISA2 will be the only S&S ISA you’ll be able to contribute “new money” to until the new tax year starts.

  • 1998 Scott January 21, 2018, 5:40 pm

    @UXR – following on from Charlie’s second point, it’s my belief also (although haven’t searched on the rules to be 100% sure) that when you do the transfer you would be effectively closing ISA2, so your strategy would work only if in the new tax year you opened ISA3, and the next tax year opened ISA4, etc. all the while keeping ISA1 as the one you transfer in to.

  • 1999 UXR January 21, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Thanks @Charlie and @Scott.

    @Charlie – in my case, which is buying 3 funds every month (36 trades a year essentially), it is cheapest to do buying on a platform such as Charles Stanley Direct (£0 dealing costs), whilst portfolio of my size is cheapest to hold on a platform such as iWeb (£0 pa) or Halifax ISA (£12.5 pa). Transfer out fees are not only £10 per line at CSD, so that would would be £30 per year in my case. I thought I figured a way of having the best of both worlds to keep my overall fees low and the math works out. However, I didn’t realize a (full) in-specie transfer would close the ISA. It definitely seems a lot more hassle in that case then if one needs to keep re-opening the account that gets closed after the transfer out…

  • 2000 Linda January 22, 2018, 2:31 pm

    Advice please. I am looking for a home for a stocks & shares ISA, investing a monthly amount.
    In the table above, does a ‘dash’ under ‘regular investing’ mean that the broker accepts regular investments but does not charge for them (in every case)? Does anyone already do this & think they have a good deal? I am thinking of investing in a couple of tracker funds and an investment trust.

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