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Best trading platforms and stock brokers

Find the best trading platforms and stock brokers for UK investors in the table below. Investment costs are all important, so we’ve placed the cheapest trading platforms and stock brokers at the top of our tables.

Flat fee investment platforms / stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing: Funds Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee1 Good for
Lloyds Bank Share Dealing £40 One £40 fee covers ISA and trading account £1.50 £11* £1.50
Shares ISA Unrestricted fund portfolios over £18k2, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £17k3
Trading Unrestricted fund portfolios over £18k4, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over 17k5
SIPP n/a
Interactive Investor6 £119.88 Investor Plan7 1 free trade per month8 £7.999 £7.9910 £0 SIPP fee waived for first 6 months
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP  £155.88 for SIPP only, or +£120 with other accounts £0 drawdown / UFPLS Unrestricted fund portfolios above £66k11, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios over £59k12
Halifax / Bank Of Scotland Share Dealing One £36 fee covers ISA and trading account. Applies from April 1 £9.50 £9.50 £2
Shares ISA £36
Trading £36
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50k. £180 if SIPP more than £50k + £180 p.a. Drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £60 per transfer. Max £300
iWeb £100 one-off account opening fee £5 £5 Large unrestricted portfolios if you rarely trade. Check vs ii and Lloyds
Shares ISA £0
Trading £0
SIPP £90 if SIPP worth less than £50k. £180 if SIPP more than £50k + £180 p.a. drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £60 per transfer. Max £300
ShareDeal Active £9.50 £9.50 £12 per holding + £60 account transfer/closure
Flexible Shares ISA £60 £18 cash withdrawal
Trading £0 As above
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment SIPP fee waived for first 12 months
HSBC Invest Direct £42 Fee per account. No funds n/a £10.50*13 £15 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a

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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. N.B. Accounts held with Halifax / Bank Of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, and iWeb count as one for the purposes of the FSCS compensation scheme. 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.

Percentage fee investment platforms / stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee14 Good for
Vanguard Investor 0.15% up to £250k, 0% over £250k. Max £375. Tiered fee Investments restricted to Vanguard funds and ETFs £0 £0 for fixed daily times, £7.50 to trade at other times £0 Beats other % fee brokers in most cases, and flat-fee brokers up to values below, but restricted range
Flexible Shares ISA Restricted fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k
Trading Restricted fund portfolios up to £43k, mixed ETF/fund up to £55k
SIPP £0 drawdown / UFPLS. Vanguard investments can be transferred in specie15 Restricted fund or mixed ETF/fund portfolios up to £125k, Restricted ETF portfolios up to £69k
AJ Bell Youinvest 0.25% up to £250k 0.1% £250k – £1m, 0.05% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered £1.50 £9.95* £1.50 £9.95 per holding
Shares ISA £42 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds Unrestricted ETF portfolios, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below 17k
Trading As above Unrestricted ETF portfolios, unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below 17k
SIPP £120 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds £0 drawdown Unrestricted fund portfolios 24k – 66k,  unrestricted mixed ETF/fund portfolios below £59k
Fidelity 0.35% £7.5k – £250k, £45 if £0 – £7.5k or 0.35% with monthly savings 0.2% £250k – £1m, 0% over £1m. Fee not tiered below £1m £0 £10 £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
Shares ISA £45 fee cap on ETFs and ITs
Trading £0 on ETFs and ITs
SIPP £45 fee cap on ETFs and ITs £0 drawdown / UFPLS ETF portfolios over £69k, Unrestricted fund portfolios below 24k
Charles Stanley Direct 0.35% up to £250k, 0.2% £250k – £500k, 0.15% £500k – £1m, 0.05% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered 0.35% on ETFs, shares, ITs and bonds. Min £24 / Max £240. £0 if 1+ trade made per month £0 £11.50 £10 per holding
Flexible Shares ISA Unrestricted fund portfolios below £18k
Trading Unrestricted fund portfolios below £18k
SIPP + £120 No £120 fee if £30k+ held in all accounts. + £60 p.a. drawdown, £180 per UFPLS payment + £150
HSBC Global Investment Centre 0.25% on all investments Trackers restricted to HSBC index funds £0 n/a
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Close Brothers 0.25% up to £500k 0.2% £500k – £1m, 0.1% £1m – £1.5m, 0% over £1.5m. Tiered £0 £8.95
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £180 £60 drawdown set up then £0 annually, £60 per UFPLS payment
Strawberry Invest 0.3% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £1m, 0% over 1m. Min £24 £0 0.04%. Min £7.50 £1 per holding
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Santander Investment Hub 0.35% up to £50k 0.2% £50k – £500k, 0.1% over £500k. Tiered £0 n/a
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Bestinvest 0.4% up to £250k 0.2% £250k – 500k, 0.1% 500k –£1m, 0% over £1m. Tiered. Fee applies per separate account £0 £4.95
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP Min £120 charge £0 drawdown / UFPLS
Hargreaves Lansdown 0.45% up to £250k 0.25% £250k – £1m, 0.1% £1m – £2m, 0% over £2m. Tiered. Fee applies per separate account £0 £11.95* £1.50 (Not charged on funds)
Shares ISA £45 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds LISA: same charges
Trading £0 for ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds
SIPP £200 fee cap on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds £0 drawdown
Aviva 0.4% up to £50k 0.35% £50k – £250k, 0.25% £250k – £500k, 0% over £500k. Tiered £0 n/a
Flexible Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP
Barclays Smart Investor 0.2% on funds. Min £48 / Max £1.5k 0.1% on ETFs, shares, ITs, and bonds. Min £48 / Max £1.5k £3 £6* £1
Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP + £150 + £120 p.a. drawdown, £90 per UFPLS payment £90 per transfer. £450 max + £90

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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. 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.

Zero commission platforms and share dealing stock brokers

Platform Annual platform fee Fee notes Dealing:
Funds
Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares Regular investing Entry fee Exit fee16 Good for
InvestEngine £0 ETFs only – restricted list n/a £0 for fixed daily times Zero commission ETFs
Shares ISA Restricted ETF portfolios
Trading Restricted ETF portfolios
SIPP n/a On the drawing board
Freetrade Smartphone app only. Restricted list of ETFs n/a £0 to trade during normal market hours Zero commission ETFs, frequent traders
Shares ISA £36
Trading £0 Restricted ETF portfolios
SIPP £119.88 No drawdown facility yet
Degiro Custody account fee €1 + 0.1% (max 10%) per dividend distribution, avoids Degiro lending your shares n/a Some zero commission ETFs.17 €2 for other ETFs. £2.25 for LSE shares18 €10 per holding €10 per holding Zero commission ETFs, frequent traders
Shares ISA n/a
Trading £0
SIPP n/a
X-O.co.uk n/a £5.95 £18 per holding
Shares ISA £0 + £60 account closure
Trading £0
SIPP £118.80 + £180 p.a. drawdown, £120 per UFPLS payment + £60 SIPP fee waived for first 12 months
IG £96 £24 waived quarterly by 3+ trades19 £0 £8*
Flexible Shares ISA
Trading
SIPP n/a
Interactive Brokers £7 per cash withdrawal after first per month Varies £4 + 0.1% fixed fee.20 International shares / ETFs
Shares ISA £0  £3 monthly inactivity fee, reduced by dealing fees21
Trading £0
SIPP Fees vary

Note: Zero commission brokers generally make money from spreads, foreign exchange fees and cross-selling of other services. Don’t think you’re getting something for nothing.

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. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. 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.

Trading platforms, stock brokers and share dealing services are interchangeable names for websites or apps that enable you to trade and manage your portfolio of shares, funds, ETFs, and other investments online.

There is no single best investment platform for everybody. The stock broker market is competitive so players try to standout by offering different pricing models and market niches.

Price is critical because keeping your costs low is a crucial factor governing your long-term investment performance.

Therefore our investment platform table focuses heavily on the fees you’ll pay for the key investing services.

The best trading platform for you is likely to provide:

  • Low fees for the services you use most.
  • The shares, funds, ETFs and other investments you want. Platforms do not all carry the same range of products.
  • The right level of customer service for your needs – don’t expect the lowest cost platform to respond like lightning when you want them to handle complicated arrangements over the phone.
  • The right user experience – If you want a flashy website and app then you’ll be able to tell who provides that from their home page. A broker with a clunky website and dirt-cheap fees is unlikely to prioritise investing in cutting-edge tech.

Beginner investors – If you’re starting out with a relatively low level of knowledge and small monthly amounts to invest, then focus on the percentage-fee platforms table.

Anyone whose assets are likely to remain below £25,000 (ISA) or £100,000 (SIPP) for some time to come will typically be better off with a percentage-fee platform that charges £0 for fund dealing.

Flat fees take a disproportionate chunk out of small investors’ assets. That’s why Vanguard Investor tops the table for small investors.

Investors with larger portfolios – Look first at the flat-fee platform table if you’ve accumulated over £25,000 (ISA) or £100,000 (SIPP).

Percentage fees can siphon off eye-watering amounts from your wealth if your platform doesn’t cap them.

There are a few exceptions though if you stick to ETFs in a SIPP.

If frequent trading and exotic investments are your thing then you’ll likely find your perfect match in the zero commission platforms table. At Monevator, we believe that most people will thrive with a passive investing strategy.

Not everyone agrees though, and some sophisticated or high net-worth investors may enjoy speculating in the riskier reaches of the market.

The Good for column shows some of the best deals available when judged by price, account type and portfolio mix.22 We judge this from a passive investor’s perspective.

Restricted portfolios means this broker offers a more limited choice of products in comparison to unrestricted platforms. Occasionally that means they only offer their own-branded funds – as in Vanguard’s case.

More guidance:

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.

Check your trading platform is authorised by the FCA

If your broker is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) then you may be entitled to compensation using the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Check from here by using the FCA register.

Some trading platforms are owned by the same financial group. You do not diversify your risk by splitting assets across brands owned by the same group. Our investor compensation scheme guide (linked to above) explains how you can identify these brands.

If you pick a zero commission / share dealing broker then pay special attention to this. Some of these firms are based abroad. Double-check they’re eligible for the FSCS compensation scheme.

Where is my missing trading platform?

We haven’t included every last option in 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.

Trading platform costs and fees

The platform charge category is intended to capture the various types of service fee typically levied by investment platforms e.g. 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.

A tiered charge means you’ll pay different amounts depending on the total value of your account(s). For example:

  • 0.25% on £0 – £250,000 (tier 1)
  • 0.1% on £250,001 – £500,000 (tier 2)

If your account was worth £250,500 then you’d only benefit from the lower charge on the £499 that fell into tier 2. £250,000 would still be charged the tier 1 rate of 0.25%.

Beware some brokers count joint and individual accounts separately when working out tiered charges on your assets.

Platforms levy various additional costs for extras such as telephone trading.

Check a platform’s full rates and charges schedule before committing.

This guide explains how to work out which platform is cheapest for your situation.

SIPP charges on the table don’t include all the various additional fees levied for services once you’re in drawdown. The drawdown figure we do include is the annual ongoing charge you’ll pay for flexi-access drawdown.

Platforms run temporary offers and discounts from time-to-time. Don’t let these sway your decision. Obviously they’re a lovely “How Do You Do?” if you were going to choose that broker anyway.

Platform charges are on top of the investment fees you’ll pay for holding funds, ETFs, and other products in your portfolio.

Understanding trading platform account names

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

  • Trading = a taxable account. Your investments are not tax-sheltered as they would be in a stocks and shares ISA or a SIPP. You will incur dividend income tax and capital gains tax on your investments if you exceed your allowances.
  • SIPP = Self-Invested Personal Pension. Tax sheltered.

Choosing investments at your trading platform

Why are there only links to some brokers?

Links to brokers and investment platforms 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 platforms 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

For in-depth customer feedback on individual platforms, ask away in our comments 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 investment 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 sure that your total cost of investment isn’t more expensive once you load the platform 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. Out to another broker []
  2. Or £43k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted fund choices []
  3. Or £55k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted  choices []
  4. Or £43k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted fund choices []
  5. Or £55k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted  choices []
  6. Also known as ii []
  7. £155.88 Pension Builder, £239.88 Super Investor []
  8. 2 free UK trades per month Super Investor, no free trades with Pension Builder []
  9. £3.99 Super Investor plan []
  10. £3.99 on Super Investors plan []
  11. Or £125k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted choices []
  12. Or £125k vs Vanguard’s cheaper but restricted choices []
  13. £39.95 for gilts []
  14. Out to another broker []
  15. Check though as Vanguard say there are some exceptions []
  16. Out to another broker []
  17. Commission-free ETFs trade on European exchanges not LSE. Other restrictions apply []
  18. £1.75 + £0.5 external handling fee []
  19. or by £15k+ assets in Smart Portfolio accounts. Quarterly dealing fees are deducted from custody fee []
  20. Also Tiered pricing []
  21. Inactivity fee reduced to £0 by £3+ in dealing fees a month []
  22. 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 of the two. []
{ 2731 comments… add one }
  • 2601 Tim Hughes July 24, 2021, 1:49 am

    Looks like IB *have* scrapped inactivity fees. As well as the stuff on Reddit there is now:

    https://www.interactivebrokers.co.uk/en/index.php?f=38234

    Surprised they don’t make more of a song and dance about it.

  • 2602 xenobyte July 28, 2021, 8:20 pm

    @JC

    Can’t comment on x-o but I do have experince of Halifax Sharedealing. For bare bones, no-frills, buy-and-hold investing in funds such as Vanguard/iShares it works OK. Regular investing is low cost. Selecting funds for purchase is a bit quirky: their public Fund Centre page uses ISIN codes, but the internal fund selection doesn’t, so you have to do a bit searching through the list to find the right fund.
    For Support, there is no internal messaging service (like Vanguard/AJB), no contact email, and call centre waiting time is 30-50 minutes.
    I am currently transferring funds out from Halifax. So far its taken 6 months.
    Conclusion: OK for buy and hold, but if something goes wrong you are pretty much on your own.

  • 2603 Jeffrey Beranek July 28, 2021, 9:58 pm

    I don’t think you need to be worried about the different spreads across different platforms. It’s generally best to trade ETFs when the markets are open in the countries that the ETF covers. You shouldn’t have any problems with any of the large ETFs. It can be a bit worrying with some of the very small ETFs, e.g. specific country funds, or obscure thematic/fundamental funds, where it might go a few days with no trades occurring at all. However, even with these there is always a price available (check Google Finance or the London Stock Exchange page for the ETF ticker) so if the price you are offered at the time of purchase is “way off” then just cancel the order before it executes. I prefer to stick to “market price” orders, but check the price before you execute. I can’t remember, but I don’t think x-o even offered limit order types. Personally, if I plan to owe the share for decades I couldn’t care less about tiny fluctuations in the daily value of a simple contribution.

  • 2604 JC July 29, 2021, 2:04 pm

    @xenobyte, @Jeffrey Beranek – thank you both for taking the time to provide your detailed thoughts and conclusions.

  • 2605 Tony August 2, 2021, 10:15 pm

    Is anyone aware of a decent SIPP provider (besides HL) who accept salary sacrifice contributions paid in by an employer?

    I can only assume it makes life much harder on the admin side because virtually no one on the table accepts such contributions, unless i can pursuade HR to set up a direct debit to my pension…

    I was formally a fairly happy EQI customer who’s now been dumped into a crummy ‘pension trading account’ at II where I have the privellege of paying the same as a SIPP customer but without the free regular investing service and trustee fees on top.

    Unless anyone has a hidden gem of a SIPP I’m feeling like transferring what i’ve got to vanguard and crawling back to work’s noddy stakeholder scheme!

  • 2606 ahick August 14, 2021, 9:25 pm

    I thought this was noted previously but I don’t see it now…

    With Charles Stanley Direct, for Stocks and Shares (incl. Exchange Traded Funds & Commodities, Investment Trusts, Gilts & Bonds)

    “Clients who make one or more chargeable trade on any account within a calendar month will have all stock & shares platform charges waived across all accounts for that month. Joint accounts will not be aggregated with individual accounts for charging.”

    https://www.charles-stanley-direct.co.uk/SiteDocuments/GetSiteDocumentByType?DocumentType=RatesAndCharges

  • 2607 The Accumulator August 16, 2021, 12:07 pm

    @ ahick- thank you! That info used to be on there but must have got accidentally deleted in the last update. TI must have been drunk again. Cheers for letting us know.

  • 2608 The Accumulator August 16, 2021, 12:17 pm

    @ Jeff Beranek – thank you for all your helpful, quality comments on this thread. It’s very much appreciated!

  • 2609 Shazspun August 24, 2021, 12:13 pm

    Hi. Ive been reading this blog for several years and as I am now nearing retiring early, (another 4 years at work), I ams looking to get my pensions sorted out. Currently I have an old RBS pension which is defined so carnet do anything with at the moment, but I also have a SIPP. The SIPP is with HL which isn’t the best but this is what my employer has our scheme within. They put all the funds into an under forming Blackrock account which I then transfer into various ETF and Index fund pots over the months, however this is now attracting larger fees (£446pa at the last count). I have set up a Vanguard SIPP which I pay into when I have spare cash. My question is – should I transfer part of my HL SIPP balance (if I can even do this) into the Vanguard SIPP on say a monthly basis to reduce the fees or shall I just leave it where it is for the time being rather than pay 2 separate fee structures. I guess there might be transfer costs with this.

  • 2610 Chris B August 26, 2021, 1:02 pm

    @Shazspun, with that fee you probably have somewhere in the region of £100k in your SIPP. In which case your cheapest option is to transfer to Fidelity and invest in ETFs only – the Fidelity annual platform fee will be a fixed £45. Vanguard’s annual % platform fee on £100k is £150. Which is not bad, but still more than Fidelity. IWeb could be another option to consider, the IWeb fee is a fixed £180 a year, and unlike Fidelity that includes investments held in funds. HL apparently do allow partial transfers out, so switching as much as you can now to ETFs on Fidelity would save you nearly £400 a year.

  • 2611 Shazspun August 26, 2021, 2:36 pm

    Many thanks Chris B. I didn’t look at Fidelity as Vanguard seems to be quoted by everyone as the easy platform. I suspect if I do partial transfers over from HL I will just have to factor in the transfer cost each time I do this so that it doesn’t outstrip any overall savings I’m trying to achieve by splitting it between SIPPS

  • 2612 Barney August 26, 2021, 3:27 pm

    It’s worth noting that Fidelity do not do partial transfers out, it’s all or nothing. Which may be a future obstacle.

  • 2613 Chris B August 27, 2021, 10:23 am
  • 2614 Tortoise August 27, 2021, 11:09 am

    @shazspun HL fees are capped at £200 if you invest in ETFs instead of funds. I would switch to a simple global tracker ETF like the Vanguard FTSE All World tracker for my equities component and not mess around with other brokers/platforms and funds.
    You will have an extra set of fees from Vanuard Investor or Fidelity if you go down the route of using them too, plus the headache of having a more complicated set up overall. Also, I have always found the most competent heldesk to be HL’s.
    Can you not get your employer to invest directly in the ETF you want, without the faff of investing in what the say and then have to re-invest in what you want?

  • 2615 Tony September 2, 2021, 2:04 pm

    @Chris B, wonderful, really appreciate the information, I’ll give Fidelity a look.

    @TA et al, thanks again for the site, hard work and mutual support!

  • 2616 The Accumulator September 14, 2021, 11:59 am

    @ Shazspun and Barney – I’m getting round Fidelity’s ‘no partial transfer’ tedium by transferring a portion of my holdings to AJ Bell who do partials. Then the balance is going to Fidelity as a full transfer.

  • 2617 MrTux September 18, 2021, 9:53 am

    hi all,

    it seems I am in the same boat as @Shazspun …. 2x forgotten work-pensions (tot ~40K) from previous employers with Aviva on a % base charge ….. I believe my best option is ETF only at Fidelity to reduce charges….

    Would you guys keep your SIPP with a different provider (e.g. Vanguard 0.15% charge) just for the sake of not consolidating everything in one provider??

  • 2618 Nick S September 23, 2021, 9:30 pm

    Is there a way to get the iWeb fee dropped? Stupidly forgot to sign my better half up before they knocked the fee up. That said, I remember when they raised to 200GBP and it came back down again..

  • 2619 Nick S September 23, 2021, 10:00 pm

    Could anyone advise the best platform for someone new to investing – their goal is individual shares within an ISA, rare trading, sounds like all in on one stock strategy.

    I used to advise iWeb but this was before fee changes and I normally point people to vanguard index funds.

    Sounds like they’re putting in upwards of 10k and they’re going to be unable to add to it much and just hoping for some luck on their research

  • 2620 Pikolo October 26, 2021, 10:30 am

    Is there a universal definition of “regular investing”? I’ve been trying to figure out whether it’s only “monthly” or whether I can set a regular investment to go only once every quarter/half a year/ once a year. All examples on Bank of Scotland’s website show monthly regular investments, but there is no definition of what qualifies as a regular investment

  • 2621 Martin Quinlan October 28, 2021, 5:04 pm

    @Pikolo
    Bank of Scotland’s Sharebuilder is set up for monthly direct debits. So less frequent “regular investing” would almost certainly require some active management (i.e. suspending the regular investment and resuming when you want the next regular investment to happen).

  • 2622 David R November 5, 2021, 1:18 am

    Very useful table…

    A few builds re HSBC. The table mentions the (rather uncompetitive) Global Investment Centre. But there is also HSBC InvestDirect, https://www.hsbc.co.uk/investments/products-and-services/invest-direct/ , which is rather more interesting imho. It has % charges for funds, but … it lets you hold equities, IT’s, and some ETFs, for a flat fee of £42 per annum, covering a Trading account and and ISA. I’d say worth considering if you don’t want all your eggs in the II / Halifax / Vanguard basket. If you hold over £50k (might be going up to £100k) with HSBC InvestDirect you are eligible for HSBC Premier current account which brings some useful perks, notably some v decent travel insurance cover.

  • 2623 Tom December 2, 2021, 2:17 pm

    Anyone know of an ISA provider(s) that allow a bitcoin based ETF/ETC? I thought I had a candidate in DE000A27Z304 (btcetc-etc-group-physical-bitcoin.pdf) but Hargreaves, iWeb etc. won’t stock it. Thanks for any thoughts.

  • 2624 Ben McLobbins December 2, 2021, 4:17 pm

    Hi all,

    Where is Charles Schwab on this table? They have a UK website and they offer US$ accounts (avoiding painful FX fees if you want to invest in $ things and this is something that only Interactive Investor and FineCo seem to match) but I struggle to find any reviews of Charles Schwab and because they use yank-speak on their website I struggle to understand how much they actually charge (although yank trading is usually cheaper than Brit trading so I. am. hopeful!) Thanks!!! 😀

  • 2625 The Accumulator December 2, 2021, 4:36 pm

    Table updated: Dec 1

    Not much action among the main players. Invest Engine looks worth a look – see top entry in zero commission platform table. Lovely design, no upfront charge, clearly the fees are flowing like a spring aquifer from somewhere else. Perhaps in the spreads. Note, they only offer a restricted range of ETFs to invest in. Interactive Brokers offering also updated. They are almost the polar opposite to Invest Engine in terms of user experience.

  • 2626 Neverland December 2, 2021, 4:44 pm

    Interactive Investor being sold to ABDN (Aberdeen/Standard Life) subject to regulatory clearances. I have no doubt that the buyer will want to recoop the £1.5bnto be paid by putting up fees somehow…

  • 2627 Robbo December 2, 2021, 8:34 pm

    Charles Schwab have a $25,000 minimum requirement . They are commission free for stocks and ETFs on US exchanges. For UK stocks they are £9 / trade. Also FX conversion looks to be 1% fee when converting less than $100k which isn’t great. IBKR is better if you want an account in USD. They convert at spot rate for $2 fee and no £25k minimum.

  • 2628 Olie December 8, 2021, 11:53 am

    @Tom

    I’ve still got bitcoin exposure in a HL SIPP and IWeb ISA/SIPP, but the FCA banned crypto-derivatives for retail customers in Jan of this year. As a result I can’t add more to those existing funds.

    To get around that, I now invest in US/Canada bitcoin mining stocks such as HUT or MARA. Another bitcoin proxy would be something like MSTR of course.

  • 2629 Barney December 8, 2021, 12:25 pm

    I’ve just joined II to avoid eggs and basket.Their one free trade per month with is allocated when they collect their monthly fee, can be saved for 90 days.

  • 2630 JON December 8, 2021, 5:21 pm

    Hello TA,
    Barclays Smart Investor uses AJ Bell You Invest as the SIPP provider.
    Barclays charges £120pa in SIPP drawdown but AJ Bell charges £0 in SIPP drawdown.
    I’m wondering if it would be better to invest directly with AJ Bell ?
    Regards,
    Jon

  • 2631 The Accumulator December 9, 2021, 12:53 pm

    @ Jon – yes, Barclays looks very expensive. AJ Bell are fine. I’ve been with them for years though I’m not in drawdown.

    @ Ben McLobbins – I don’t put every broker in because we get a fair bit of feedback that suggests the table is pretty daunting as it is. So if a platform looks uncompetitive versus rivals I tend to leave it out.

    That said, I put household names in because otherwise people would have to search for them to find out they’re not that competitive!

    I think of Schwab as a huge brand in America but over here, not so much. They don’t offer US ETFs to UK investors otherwise they’d be straight in. They offer European ETFs due to regulatory hurdles that brought the shutters down on US-domiciled ETFs over here a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, that was a bit rambly but just wanted to explain my thinking. Happy to hear from anyone who thinks I should be doing something different.

  • 2632 Thomas Elliott December 9, 2021, 5:18 pm

    TA, are there any good write-ups on the relative merits of the new-fangled zero-commission platforms versus the big players (in my case, I’m curious about S&S ISAs)? The absence of any up-front fees seems too good to be true and I don’t have a good understanding of how spreads might nibble away!

  • 2633 Ian S. December 10, 2021, 6:20 am

    I realise I’m missing some fundamental point here but I don’t understand some of the footnotes to the table.
    e.g looking at the iWeb SIPP info, it says it’s good for “Unrestricted fund portfolios above £102k” then points me to footnote 3, which says “£169k vs Vanguard”. What is that saying? £102k isn’t £169k.

  • 2634 IanH December 10, 2021, 12:29 pm

    I had a look at invest engine

    it seems there is an annual fee…

    https://investengine.com/faq/general/
    “… We charge an annual flat fee of 0.25% “

  • 2635 PA December 10, 2021, 12:53 pm

    @ IanH – the 0.25% is for Managed Portfolios whilst Do It Yourself Portfolio is free

    https://investengine.com/costs/

  • 2636 D December 10, 2021, 4:22 pm

    @ Thomas Elliott you can find comparison’s of new free trading accounts here https://brokerchooser.com/free-trading-apps-vs-incumbent-online-brokers#brokerbybroker

    I was looking in to ISA Freetrade and the problem with free trading accounts is that they do not offer funds only shares and ETFs. For ISA accounts, base currency is always GBP so you are every time hit with exchange fee when buying and selling US ETFs or Shares.

    Does anybody have experience with Freetrade ISA comparing to Fidelity when investing in ETFs?

  • 2637 Lmiturbe December 11, 2021, 8:59 am

    Where is Trading 212?

  • 2638 The Accumulator December 13, 2021, 11:16 am

    @ Ian S – sorry, that footnote isn’t very clear. It means that the tipping point for Vanguard’s SIPP costing more than iWeb would be when your SIPP is worth around £169K. Whereas the tipping point is more like £102K for non-Vanguard platforms that give you a wider choice of funds. Thanks for pointing this out – I need to reword it, so it’s much clearer in the future.

    @ Lmiturbe – Trading 212 have stopped taking on new customers so I’ve taken them out for now.

    @ Thomas Elliott – I think you may have just inspired my next article. I need to dive into this more. Nothing springs to mind as an authoritative link. As I understand it, brokers have a few different models to make money – exchange rate conversion fees, higher spreads, upselling customers into trading more lucrative products e.g. CFDs. In the States, some brokers make money for order flow e.g. directing their brokerage custom to certain market makers. I don’t know that this happens over here. I’ve got a vague memory it’s not legal in Europe but I’d have to look into it more. There are more revenue streams too but this deffo needs an article.

  • 2639 The Accumulator December 13, 2021, 11:20 am

    @ Ian S – I forgot to mention the tipping points are heavily influenced by the amount of trading you do. In other words, moving to a flat fee broker is likely to be less lucrative for someone who makes 10 fund trades a month and pays £0 for that service with their percentage fee broker.

    My tipping point assumptions are: one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available.

  • 2640 Algernond December 15, 2021, 3:31 pm

    Hmmm. Invest Engine looks good for cheap set-it and mostly forget investing. No Commodity Future ETFs though… So can’t quite invest in my current target portfolio.

    Well done for taking Trading212 out. Seems like something fishy going on there.

  • 2641 IvanOpinion December 23, 2021, 2:41 pm

    I see that Interactive Investor now has a Friends and Family plan, under which one account holder pays an extra £5 pm and can nominate up to 5 other people to get their accounts with no monthly charges. (Apologies if this has already been posted and I missed it.)

    The big catch is that it only applies up to £30k in each of the free accounts and does not include SIPP.

    Could be a big saving for small investment pots. Six people would previously pay £120×6=£720 pa. In this plan they would now pay £180.

  • 2642 DougalInvests December 24, 2021, 10:56 pm

    If you give InvestEngine a bash, remember if you go through a RAF, you can get £75 rather than the standard £50 signup for funding and investing £100(plus bonus) for a year.

  • 2643 Dan January 5, 2022, 12:39 pm

    Can’t thank you enough for the effort that has been put into this resource and the Monevator complete blog.

    I have tried to interpret this table on probably 8 different occasions and I must admit I come away every time with “analysis paralysis”, so in a somewhat desperate move I’m going to ask in the comments!!

    I’m in accumulation phase with a 25 year horizon, everything is in FTSE Global All Cap, through Vanguard platform. £50k SIPP, £65k ISA. SIPP gets one purchase a year, ISA 4 or 5 times a month. No selling so far, none planned.

    Assuming status quo, I think I need to leave the SIPP where it is, ISA should go to iWeb – is that correct?

  • 2644 Andrew January 5, 2022, 11:09 pm

    @Dan

    Have you considered putting everything under one roof at Interactive Investor?

    £50K SIPP @ Vanguard has a 0.15% account fee which comes to £75/yr.

    At iWeb 1 trade per month (let alone 4-5) is £5/
    mo or £60/yr.

    Plus the £100 opening fee. That’s £235 for your first year, and £135/yr thereafter.

    At Interactive Investor you’ll pay £240/yr total, but you’ll get 1 free normal trade per month (via trade credit, which can be saved up), free regular investments, currently the SIPP fee is waived for 8 months, and you’ll have access to more funds (not just Vanguard) in *both* accounts if you need them.

    It’ll also be easier to see what you’re paying with a fixed fee broker as your pots grow.

  • 2645 Dan January 6, 2022, 8:38 am

    @Andrew

    I’ve made an error there, I meant Interactive Investor, not iWeb, I don’t think I can edit my original comment now unfortunately. Thanks for coming back to me though.

    I take the point about having access to other funds, my thoughts are keeping it as simple as possible, so global all cap works for me unless someone can show me something better (subjective definition I know)…

  • 2646 Paul January 6, 2022, 5:05 pm

    Does anyone know which fund platforms allow partial crystallisation of funds in drawdown? This is a key tax management approach that I have seen a number of financial planners mention for retirement, but I can’t find any aggregated information online.

  • 2647 C January 7, 2022, 6:04 pm

    @Dan

    > everything is in FTSE Global All Cap, through Vanguard platform. £50k SIPP, £65k ISA. SIPP gets one purchase a year, ISA 4 or 5 times a month.

    One good option option is £45 a year for both ISA and SIPP on Fidelity. Do regular investments to Fidelity Index World Fund P-Acc, but put your long term holdings in Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF (VWRP). Periodically (e.g. once a year) switch your built up regular investment pot to VWRP. Fidelity don’t charge for trades on OEIC funds, and the platform charge for ETFs is capped at £45 a year. The only extra charges will be a share trade fee for your periodic switch to VWRP, plus the annual 0.35% on your regular savings pot (but this should be very low, because you periodically empty it to keep it low).

  • 2648 Dan January 8, 2022, 12:41 pm

    @C

    Thanks for that input. I’ve had a look at Fidelity this morning but struggling to reconcile from their fees pages. It all seems very complicated, certainly from what I am used to with Vanguard (i.e. no charges except nice simple 0.15% on account balance). I think if I was looking to be a bit more adventurous with my fund selections, clearly my hand would be forced to a different platform.

    Quote https://www.fidelity.co.uk/services/charges-fees/fees-more-detail/#tab-link
    [There is a charge made for each buy and sell transaction you place (including switches and dividend reinvestments). This will be deducted from the amount invested or raised through a sale.
    £1.50 for deals as part of a regular savings or withdrawal plan, or for a reinvestment of income or a dividend.
    Simple charge of £10.00 for each deal placed online]

    That reads I would be charged £1.50 * 52 based on my intended purchasing behaviour (it doesn’t mention that Index Funds or ETFs enjoy a payment holiday, which you would think would be front and centre). This would be an annual charge of (45+78) £123 for platform fees, which /0.0015 means it’s more expensive than Vanguard until around £82k by my fagpacket. I’m also not sure I know enough about the differences between Funds and ETF’s to be comfortable switching over wholesale, more research needed there I think.

    On balance when the aim is to have low cost but very simple structure for me investments looks like I’m continuing to stay put for now! May have to revisit this topic, again, when my balances are higher, at which point the market could well have changed anyway

  • 2649 C January 8, 2022, 1:12 pm

    Hi, the relevant sections are:

    “The portion of the fee you pay on exchange-traded investments (shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), etc.) within an ISA or SIPP is capped at £45.” – https://www.fidelity.co.uk/stocks-and-shares-isa/fees-and-charges/

    “We don’t charge anything for buying, selling or switching funds, however there is a £10 charge for online deals on shares, exchange-traded funds and investment trusts” – https://www.fidelity.co.uk/services/charges-fees/

    “In instances where a Customer holds Brokerage Assets in their Investment Account, along with other accounts such as ISA and / or SIPP and the Service Fee accrued on the ISA and / or SIPP reaches our Charging Limit of £3.75 per month for these assets across your accounts (£45 a year), we will pro-rata the amount due across all the customer accounts, including the Investment Account. This means that even though there is no Service Fee accrued on the Brokerage Assets in an Investment Account, the £3.75 is spread at a Customer level across the accounts held. So, a small portion of this £3.75 charge may be deducted from the Investment Account.” – https://www.fidelity.co.uk/canonical/1538726539/770/

    On £115k pot you pay £172 at 0.15% platform fee with Vanguard, and this will rise as your pot increases to £375 before it’s capped. With Fidelity, using regular investments to a fund but holding long term in VWRP, you’d pay about £60 a year. Buying an ETF is no different from buying units of a fund, except you can’t buy fractional units, i.e. a VWRP share is £85, so you have to buy multiples of that. It’s a good deal, yes slightly more complex, but maybe worth it to save a few hundred £ a year?

    One last link – https://www2.trustnet.com/Tools/Charting.aspx?typeCode=FNGLY,FG2HB – this is the performance of the Vanguard FTSE All World versus Vanguard Global All Cap Acc. It’s almost identical, so the only reason to prefer one over the other is the fees charged by the platform and the convenience of being able to buy fractional units for a fund.

  • 2650 Eruman January 9, 2022, 10:34 pm

    Former Cavendish SIPP and now Fidelity customer try to figure out what to do now the fees are going up in March. Currently in £58k’s worth of Fidelity Index World Fund P-Acc (wife in a similar position) so in something of an awkward middle ground as to where to go next.

    C’s strategy sounds great, but I’m trying to reconcile it against the table’s notes on Fidelity’s about SIPP’s and “Restricted ETF portfolios over £66k”. My google-fu fails me as to what those restrictions are, but whenever I tried to search for anything on the Fidelity platform the “Exchange-traded” tab seems to always respond with “Your search did not match any investments.” All the Vanguard funds are OEIC’s (like the above World Fund) so I assume they’d attract the same 0.35% platform fee. Do they just intentionally restrict the ETF choice in such a way that you effectively can’t make use of that £45 cap?

    I also have similarly modest Vanguard ISA’s so am somewhat reluctant to switch everything out to avoid that eggs in one basket situation…

  • 2651 C January 10, 2022, 1:18 am

    Hi Eruman, “Restricted ETF portfolios” just means that the portfolio can only use shares/ETFs for the fees to be capped. No OEIC funds.

    > whenever I tried to search for anything on the Fidelity platform the “Exchange-traded” tab seems to always respond with “Your search did not match any investments.”

    That is odd, are you adding any extra filters? The default search result should show 378 ETFs, try https://www.fidelity.co.uk/planning-guidance/investment-finder/#?investmentType=exchangeTradedFunds

    You can also just search for the ticker you want using the little magnifying glass icon in the top right of Fidelity’s site. ETFs are definitely there, e.g. Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF USD Accumulation (VWRP): https://www.fidelity.co.uk/factsheet-data/factsheet/IE00BK5BQT80-vanguard-funds-plc/key-statistics

  • 2652 C January 12, 2022, 2:05 pm

    Fidelity are now offering upto £1000 cashback on transfers – https://www.fidelity.co.uk/transfer/cashback/ – the only catch is that you repay the cashback if you transfer to another provider within 18 months. The offer closes 28 February 2022.

  • 2653 Barney January 12, 2022, 3:04 pm

    I am currently waiting a response from Fidelity to a secure message that should have been answered by now. But in any event I will move to another platform. To sum up, a bit like the Co-op fifty years ago.

    If they were on the ball, they wouldn’t have to Financially Tout for business.

  • 2654 Eruman January 12, 2022, 9:15 pm

    @C

    Yeah it’s weird. If you go through the “Buy, sell, switch screen” (https://www.fidelity.co.uk/secure/accounts/#dealing/switch) then it behaves like that. I can certainly view the fund through your link, but I’m given the Deal button when logged in, but I go through that the only option open to me is to buy not switch. I was hoping there was a faster solution than that but I guess I have to engage with the “delights” of their support team. From what has been said elsewhere, not expecting a fast answer…

  • 2655 C January 12, 2022, 10:14 pm

    @Eruman, I think you can only switch between OEIC funds? In which case, you’d need to first sell the OEIC fund and then buy the ETF with the resulting cash.

  • 2656 Eruman January 14, 2022, 6:48 pm

    @C

    Looks like phone only according to this, and they charge more.
    https://help.fidelity.co.uk/site/dealing-and-managing-cash/switch-investments

  • 2657 Whoop January 18, 2022, 2:53 pm

    Interactive Brokers just launched an ISA https://www.interactivebrokers.co.uk/en/index.php?f=50549

    Incredibly big news. 0.03% FX, £3/mo inactivity fee, SIPC insurance instead of FSCS so 500k USD vs 85k USD.

  • 2658 The Investor January 18, 2022, 3:52 pm

    @Whoop — Agreed, was just talking to a Monevator reader on Twitter about this. It would have saved me five figures last year in FX fees (because I am naughty and active and shouldn’t be, but the point is mainstream platforms are dire FX wise)

  • 2659 Roboo January 18, 2022, 4:05 pm

    Wow this is brilliant news on the IBKR ISA! I was waiting for this day as the FX fees are killing me too. 0.03% fee is great!

  • 2660 Andrew January 18, 2022, 5:29 pm

    Presumably the IB ISA still only lets you invest in to eligible funds and UK listed ETFs and not US listed ETFs, so what’s the advantage beside the low trading fees?

  • 2661 Robbo January 18, 2022, 5:56 pm

    If you’re only buying funds then you’re right there is not much benefit, but there is if you want to buy US stocks.

  • 2662 Sparschwein January 18, 2022, 7:36 pm

    Great news about IB. Thanks for posting!
    Fx fees would be an important addition to the comparison table. They either limit the choice of investments or get very expensive. AJ Bell take 1%, iWeb 1.5%. It can also matter for ETFs as soon as it’s slightly off the mainstream, e.g. sector ETFs.

  • 2663 StatsM January 31, 2022, 5:20 pm

    Looking at @Dan ‘s comment 2643
    > everything is in FTSE Global All Cap, through Vanguard platform. £50k SIPP, £65k ISA. SIPP gets one purchase a year, ISA 4 or 5 times a month.

    Isn’t the cheapest option that is still simple (i.e. just have one fund in an ISA, rather than cool but maybe more complicated Fidelity swap-between-different-investments optioned that @C suggested) Lloyds Dealing Shares ISA? £40 ISA fee, plus £1.50 48–60 times a year, gives £112 to £130. Interactive Investor was suggested, but I think it’s more expensive when trading more than once a month because their free ‘regular investment’ system only allows monthly trades?

    I’d be interested in what other folks think about this example, in case I’ve made a silly mistake?

  • 2664 C January 31, 2022, 8:28 pm

    InvestEngine is the cheapest if you just want an ISA – no annual fee, no trading charges, and a big list of ETFs – see https://investengine.com/etf-range/ – including VWRP, SSAC, VHVG, HMWO. I don’t know how they intend to make a profit, but it’s a great offer.

    I calculated Fidelity ISA+SIPP was cheapest because Dan also has a SIPP. £112-£130 Lloyds ISA fees plus the Vanguard SIPP fee of £75 would total about £200 a year, versus £60ish with Fidelity. Is it worth it to save £140 a year?

  • 2665 Charlie January 31, 2022, 8:53 pm

    Does anyone know if Interactive Brokers ISA can buy into open ended funds? It seems they have a list of open ended funds with no fee to buy/sell, but I didn’t see mutual funds/open ended funds being listed in their ISA FAQ

    Following are listed by IBUK as allowed investments under ISA:
    Shares
    Securities issued by Companies
    Recognised UCITS
    Depository Receipts, American Depository Receipts and American Depository Shares

    If they do permit buying mutual funds without fees then it seems like a really good deal at £3 a month with good fx fees to buy into US shares if I want to. £36 a year if I do I trade a month.

    Can anyone help with better alternative? Interactive Investors would be my second choice as their fees would cost £120 a year for same transactions

  • 2666 Onedrew January 31, 2022, 9:01 pm

    @C: I asked InvestEngine how they make money: “ Our managed portfolios have a fee rate of 0.25% and the majority of our clients have a managed portfolio, which generates funds. The investment fund and spread costs are the same as we only trade on the London Stock Exchange ”.

    I also asked about limit orders, but these are not available. Otherwise I’d be sorely tempted.

  • 2667 Adam February 1, 2022, 12:12 am

    @Charlie Interactive Brokers only offer US based mutual funds, none of which you can actually buy in the UK. This is true outside of ISAs too.

  • 2668 The Accumulator February 1, 2022, 11:56 am

    @ Charlie and Adam – Interactive Brokers have a fund search tool:
    https://www.interactivebrokers.co.uk/en/index.php?f=46321#/

    Set it to UK and search by fund family e.g. Vanguard – it shows funds you can get in the UK. Whether that actually means you can get them through IB – I don’t know. I’ve seen platform databases include funds they don’t actually stock before.

    Charlie – “Recognised UCITS” this would include open-ended funds, if IB allows you to trade them.

  • 2669 Adam February 1, 2022, 12:58 pm

    You can’t actually buy any of those listed for some reason, try and do so and you get told they’re for professional investors only.

    > Limited to Professional Investors Only. Prior approval from Vanguard Asset Management Ltd. is required to trade these funds. If you are an institutional investor, please contact distributor_management@vanguard.co.uk to request approval. No trading from retail investors will be accepted. Please note Vanguard’s UK domiciled funds are only available to UK tax residents located in the UK.

  • 2670 The Accumulator February 1, 2022, 6:20 pm

    Ah, thanks for clarifying Adam. I did wonder. I guess funds don’t really suit IB’s target market 😉

  • 2671 Charlie February 1, 2022, 10:06 pm

    @The Accumulator and Adam

    Thanks a lot for the information especially the mutual fund search tool. I’m interested in mutual funds mainly because I want to invest in Fundsmith, I see both T class and I class are available in the fund search tool with region set to the UK, worst case I guess I can still buy the T class with no transaction fee. Given this is managed by UK fund house I’m guessing that’s wouldn’t be an issue? I’m planning to buy Vanguard ETFs listed on LSE so not being able to buy US dom mutual funds is not a concern for me.

    I vaguely remember it’s better to hold Irish domiciled funds anyway for non-US person, could anyone help me with advantages of holding US dom funds compared to what we normally have in the UK (Irish dom or Lux dom)?

    The ii deal (SIPP + ISA for £240 a year with 1 free monthly trade and free regular investing) is my second best favourite as IB does not offer direct SIPP, but won’t be able to buy US shares due to the 1 % fx fee which is a shame. Would be great if someone knows better alternatives?

    Would be grateful if someone knows where to find how a typical IB ISA US stock trade looks like as ISA can’t hold USD.

  • 2672 Adam February 2, 2022, 1:26 am

    Fundsmith was actually the reason I looked originally, but you get the same error: https://imgur.com/K0we46S.png I’ve clearly selected the GBP version, all classes of the fund return this error. Open a free GIA account and check for yourself.

  • 2673 Andrew February 2, 2022, 7:59 am

    I suppose if you’re going for a high cost fund like Fundsmith (1% OCF) then you definitely don’t want to be giving your broker another x%

  • 2674 Passive Pete February 2, 2022, 9:46 am

    For Fundsmith investing I’ve gone directly to their website to avoid platform charges. I guess this slows down trading in the fund, but I haven’t sold anything yet so that’s not been a problem for me. On the upside it adds diversification to the number of platforms I use.

  • 2675 Onedrew February 2, 2022, 10:03 am

    @Andrew: When I started my investing journey around 2012, I made the usual mistakes: bought what the pension funds were buying including Shell, Unilever and also decided to have a punt with Fundsmith. The others fell by the wayside but Fundsmith seemed to deliver life-changing amounts. When I decided that I wanted a simple all-passive portfolio I sold most of them but hung onto what I call my Freebies — funds where I kept a portion equivalent to less than my profits on them.
    It costs nothing to hold with iWeb, so Terry Smith is getting his 0.95%, for my I-class fund but I don’t feel the pain.
    There is of course an opportunity cost: compared to a simple S&P500 accumulating tracker like CSP1, Fundsmith has fallen behind over the last three years.
    But I am hanging onto it for the most childish of reasons: its mutual fund ID code is FUQUIT.

  • 2676 Barney February 2, 2022, 10:07 am

    @ “Nearly” Passive Pete…….Out of curiosity, how many platforms do you use.
    I’d be interested if anyone knows what the average number of held platforms are.

  • 2677 Passive Pete February 2, 2022, 10:53 am

    @Barney – not even “nearly”, only around half passive, but it depends on your definition of passive. In the literal sense of not reacting to what happens, then I’m fairly passive (or lazy) depending on your point of view.
    I have two general platforms (HL & Jarvis) and two constrained platforms (Vanguard and Fundsmith). No platform fees paid anywhere as I only use the general platforms for direct share holdings or ETFs. For Vanguard, I was an early investor in the U.K. when it required paper forms and cheques, and so I don’t pay the ‘new’ platform charge.

  • 2678 Barney February 2, 2022, 11:13 am

    @ Passive Pete…No platform charges is new to me. Can you explain a bit more?
    I currently have 4 platforms including Fidelity which is being transferred to AJ Bell, consisting of just 4 funds, the transfer started 12 days ago and is 99% complete, so a relief considering moving into Fidelity took 6 months.

  • 2679 Charlie February 2, 2022, 11:53 am

    @Adam

    Thanks a lot for that. I do see you are trying to invest in the I class which has a minimum of 5 million, would there be any luck with T class which is the retail class on IBUK ISA? Thank you!

    Reason why I don’t use Fundsmith website for that is because I want to diversify within ISA in a single year. Like Onedrew said Fundsmith’s performance has been lagging CSP1 in the last 3 years but I do like Terry’s investment philosophy and their performance post fee is still better than most active managers I know so want to keep my allocation.

  • 2680 Passive Pete February 2, 2022, 3:28 pm

    @Barney, avoiding fees is not something I could replicate now if I started over, instead I’d pay £375 annual capped fee to Vanguard. But within that platform I’d keep my SIPP, ISA and general account that I’d want to hold funds- such as Lifestrategy. Then in the other platforms I invest directly in shares and ETFs that don’t attract an annual % fee. With Fundsmith I can also invest in the ISA without additional costs, but as @Charlie highlights this strategy only works if you are prepared to put in your full annual investment into the one fund.

  • 2681 Adam February 2, 2022, 7:42 pm

    @Charlie
    Huh you’re right, I don’t get the warning with the T class – could’ve sworn I tried that before. Haven’t actually tried to execute, but it doesn’t throw the error instantly like it does with the I class. These minimum limits normally apply to the broker, surprised IBKR don’t hold 5m, every other broker I’ve purchased Fundsmith with do. Also why’re they assuming I’ve not got 5m and fobbing off with professional classification.

  • 2682 Barney February 3, 2022, 9:33 am

    @Passive Pete, many thanks for that, certainly food for thought. If say, I’ve used up this years isa allowance, I wonder if theres a minimum investment to qualify for “no fee”?

  • 2683 Paul February 12, 2022, 11:51 am

    Hi,

    Close brothers have started a £150+vat yearly admin fee for their SIPP.

    https://www.closebrothersam.com/investing-online/self-invested-personal-pension/

  • 2684 The Accumulator February 14, 2022, 2:34 pm

    Thank you, Paul. Much appreciated.

  • 2685 The Accumulator March 2, 2022, 1:29 am

    Broker table updated March 2, 2022. Quite a few changes.

    ‘Good for’ summary:

    ISAs and Trading accounts

    Funds – Lloyds – for portfolios worth over £43K approx vs Vanguard

    Funds – Vanguard – for portfolios worth below £43K approx (restricted choice)

    ETFs (unrestricted choice) – AJ Bell

    ETFs (restricted choice) – Invest Engine

    SIPPs

    Fund – Interactive Investor – for portfolios worth over £125K approx vs Vanguard

    Fund – Vanguard for portfolios worth below £125K approx (restricted choice)

    ETFs – Fidelity for portfolios worth over £69K approx vs Vanguard (somewhat restricted choice)

    ETFs – Vanguard for portfolios worth below £69,000 (restricted choice)

    ETFs (unrestricted choice) – AJ Bell

    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.

  • 2686 Thomas March 7, 2022, 10:43 pm

    I believe BestInvest was covered before, I think that’s why my SIPP is with them, I’m guessing I should probably switch if it’s not mentioned in your table!

  • 2687 Barney March 8, 2022, 8:14 am

    @Thomas, I was with Bestinvest for isas and negotiated a 5p discount for a small investment, having presented them with “I’ll move otherwise”. It may be worth a try with your Sipp. After a while I moved anyway.

  • 2688 Rosario March 8, 2022, 12:02 pm

    I’m looking at opening a S&S ISA with a second provider this coming tax year. Current is with Halifax. Is there any perceived group risk with opening the second ISA with Lloyds?

    Flat fee would suit me better and I’ll just be regular investing into funds so in my mind it was a choice between Lloyds, ii and iweb.

  • 2689 The Accumulator March 8, 2022, 12:49 pm

    @ Rosario: Halifax / Bank Of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, and iWeb count as one for the purposes of the FSCS compensation scheme. Given the level of government ownership I wouldn’t personally sweat it. Still, if you’re into ETFs then take a look at AJ Bell (£42 flat fee cap for ETFs p.a), InvestEngine, Freetrade

  • 2690 Jamie March 8, 2022, 3:03 pm

    Suggestion: perhaps, with each iteration, the latest update to the table could be in another colour?

  • 2691 Mike March 8, 2022, 6:04 pm

    Can you explain what you mean by the term ‘Unrestricted Portfolios’?

  • 2692 Onedrew March 8, 2022, 11:37 pm

    It’s the fairly large small print “ Restricted portfolios means this broker offers a more limited choice of products in comparison to unrestricted platforms. Occasionally that means they only offer their own-branded funds – as in Vanguard’s case.”

  • 2693 Andrew Seib March 9, 2022, 12:00 am

    @TA @Rosario: Does iWeb not knocked AJ Bell into a cocked hat for ETF buyers within an ISA at £5 a trade and no platform fee v £9.95 a trade and £42pa platform fee? It doesn’t take long for iWeb’s one-off £100 entry fee to amortise itself away. The ability to set tradeplans free of charge for rebalancing/buying dips is brilliant. I do use Vanguard to spread the protection, though.

  • 2694 Rosario March 9, 2022, 11:26 am

    @ Andrew Seib I believe regular investments are £1.50 with AJBell? £9.95 would be the cost of a one off trade. So investing monthly into a single EFT should be £60pa for each platform? (£1.50 x 12, plus £42) AJB vs £5 x 12 iWeb. Agree on the point of amortisation though.

    From my own experience with others its not too much trouble to have “regular” trades set up and amend them as required for an ad hoc purchase. So AJB may suit me better fee’s wise but I’m interested in the tradeplan aspect so may also look into that.

  • 2695 Andrew Seib March 9, 2022, 12:00 pm

    @Rosario. You’re right and this underscores TA’s point that the outcome can be very different depending on the individual. I’m at the spending rather than investing phase, so the only new income for my investments is dividends and I cannot take advantage of the £1.50 regular investment fee.

  • 2696 The Accumulator March 9, 2022, 12:00 pm

    @ Andrew – just to add to Rosario’s comment – I pay £1.50 a time to buy with AJ Bell using their regular investment service. It’s very flexible, you can stop and start it anytime. Sells are £9.95 though.

    I agree that if you don’t trade very much iWeb is great – lots of people complain about how outdated it looks but that doesn’t bother me. I think of the £100 account opening fee as a £40 per annum platform fee that disappears after 2.5 years. If you don’t think you’re likely to switch broker then that’s a good deal. Though its SIPP fee is beaten by others.

  • 2697 Andrew Seib March 9, 2022, 1:57 pm

    @TA: I think, expressed rather clumsily, I am saying that even if you trade quite a lot – say 15+ times a year – there isn’t a cheaper way than iWeb’s to do so using a tradeplan to set the buy/sell price. So quite nice, but niche.

  • 2698 The Accumulator March 9, 2022, 11:38 pm

    @ Jamie – that’s a nice idea. Cheers.

  • 2699 The Accumulator March 9, 2022, 11:44 pm

    @ Andrew – that’s interesting. I haven’t personally used Tradeplan. Is it for shares only or can you use it with ETFs? iweb’s page on Tradeplans seems to be saying it is £3 a trade. i.e. £2 to set up but that’s deducted from the £5 trade cost.

  • 2700 Andrew Seib March 10, 2022, 3:52 am

    @TA: I use it almost exclusively for ETFs. Within an ISA or SIPP there is no set-up fee, just the £5 when the trade executes. I have used it for quite a few years, usually to sell at a price over RPI for income or to buy on the bigger dips if I haven’t taken the cash out. Tradeplans last up to 90 days and if set up outside ISA or SIPP the £2 set-up fee is spent. I have found the iWeb tradeplans very reliable. In times of extreme market stress, eg March 2020 most recently, the setting up of new tradeplans may be restricted but any existing are left to run until expiry. Executed trades are notified promptly by email, so no need to keep a close eye on things. The tradeplans can be set up to keep trading a range, for example sell SMT at 1500p and buy back at 1200p, although I have not used this. It’s not beautiful but it works well in practice. I recommend setting up tradeplans out of trading hours and methodically double-checking that I have made no errors mixing up GPB and GBX in the price or units instead of £ value.

  • 2701 Adam March 10, 2022, 11:38 am

    Thanks for the effort you put into maintaining this, its an invaluable resource which I point people to on an almost daily basis. One key thing I think its missing is FX charges, specifically for ISAs where you’re trapped to doing FX on both ends of the trade. Have you considered adding?

  • 2702 The Accumulator March 10, 2022, 7:45 pm

    @ Andrew – thank you for taking the time to reply and tipping us all off about Tradeplans. I must admit they’d passed me by. I think you summed it up beautifully when you said “nice but niche”. iweb is such a quirky oddball of a broker but I have a soft spot for it. Cheers.

    Adam – thank you for your kind words and for promoting the broker table for us. We need it! Totally agree on FX charges. Funnily enough I’ve been experimenting with a new version of the broker table behind the scenes and I’ve got FX in. Previously I haven’t wanted to add an extra column cos the table is confusing enough, but I’ve freed up room by combining the exit fee / entry fee columns. (Sounds like it shouldn’t work but I think it does.)

  • 2703 Onedrew March 14, 2022, 12:15 pm

    Has anyone opened an ISA with InvestEngine? Would you do the same knowing what you know now? It looks pretty good but I’m feeling risk averse today.

  • 2704 Marc April 7, 2022, 3:56 pm

    Hello
    Would it be a real risk to have my ISA and SIPP held in the same platform/broker? I am reaching a point where it would be beneficial to transfer my ISA out of vanguard but I’m not sure if it’s wise to have it transferred to fidelity where I’ve got my SIPP already.
    thanks

  • 2705 C April 11, 2022, 3:25 pm

    @Onedrew – Yes, I’ve opened an ISA with InvestEngine. It was easy to do, everything worked as expected so far, and I’d do it again. The only potential downsides I could see are that any ISA transfers in are done as a cash transfer, and it’s not a “flexible” ISA (which means that if you put cash in and then withdraw it you’ve used up some of your annual allowance).

    @Marc There’s no real risk using the same broker, no. If Fidelity went bust then you’d still own your shares. The only situation where you could lose out would be if there were some fraud at Fidelity, and your shares effectively got stolen, but that’s very unlikely. Many people have ISAs and SIPPs with the same broker and don’t worry about it.

  • 2706 Tonnerrian April 21, 2022, 4:44 pm

    This is an incredible table and set of comments. I’d appreciate some guidance – I have my ISA / SIPP in Vanguard at the moment, and looking to diversify my General Account away. Want a platform that I could set and forget (£500 / month into a FTSE tracker) – reputation / reliability of the platform are quite important for me. Four candidates:

    1) Fidelity – £18 / year through regular investing in an ETF
    2) HL – Same – £18 / year through regular investing in an ETF
    3) II – £120 / year
    4) Lloyds – £40 + £18 / year (through 12 fund buys)

    I’m leaning towards either Fidelity or HL. (A) Does this make sense and is there some other platform that I should consider? (B) Would you pick Fidelity over HL, or HL over Fidelity (for the purpose of regular investing into an ETF)?

  • 2707 The Accumulator April 26, 2022, 9:10 pm

    Hi Tonnerrian – HL’s regular investing scheme doesn’t work with ETFs – only shares. May be worth looking at AJ Bell. Cheaper than Fidelity for ETF investing in a general account and their regular investing scheme is more flexible too.

  • 2708 Martin Quinlan April 29, 2022, 4:33 pm

    @Tonnerrian @The Accumulator
    Another (very minor) benefit of going with AJ Bell or similar rather than Fidelity or HL is that those latter two have regularly in the past had transfer cashback offers (HL currently in fact as an example).

    I’ve taken advantage of transfer cashback at both over the years, Fidelity earlier this year, and those £500/month investments may at some point add up to a pot value where it becomes worthwhile getting cashback for transferring if similar offers continue in the future (particularly if your starting with a % fee-based broker like AJ Bell).

  • 2709 Tonnerrian May 1, 2022, 8:36 pm

    Thanks @TheAccumulator @Martin Quinlan. Thanks for pointing out that HL / Fidelity regular investing don’t work with ETFs – I hadn’t realised that. Sounds like AJ Bell allows regular investing with ETFs, and as such AJ Bell wins over Fidelity / HL.

    Can I get your thoughts on the best / cheapest platform to buy ETFs in a Trading account outside regular investing (i.e. buy when I want to / can vs. a regular schedule). Say you place 12X trades a year, I see it as:

    AJ Bell: £42 + £9.95 X 12 = ~£160
    II: ~£120
    HL: £11.95 X 12 = ~£143
    Fidelity = £10 X 12 = £120
    iWeb = £100 (one off) + £5 X 12 = £160 in Y1, £60 thereafter

    Does that sound right? Would you recommend one or the other?

  • 2710 Chris B May 1, 2022, 9:56 pm

    @Tonnerrian, the Fidelity regular investment service does work for ETFs:

    “For shares, ETFs and investment trusts, Fidelity charge the following dealing fees, and there may also be government levies, Stamp Duty or taxes that apply.

    £1.50 for deals as part of a regular savings or withdrawal plan, or for a reinvestment of income or a dividend.”

    https://www.fidelity.co.uk/services/charges-fees/

  • 2711 The Accumulator May 2, 2022, 5:11 pm

    @ Tonnerrian – Just to echo Chris B – you can buy ETFs at Fidelity via regular investing. It’s just the service is less flexible. They make it harder for you to not buy the same ETF every month.

    Whereas AJ Bell you can turn regular investing on and off like a tap.

    The cheapest GIA accounts for ETFs are InvestEngine and Freetrade. Obvs they have a much shorter track record and you did say that was an important element for you.

    Your maths looks right but I’ve only given it a quick eyeball.

    I’ve used 4 of the brokers you listed in comment 2709. They’re all fine. I’ve had a good experience with all of them. The only one I haven’t tried is Interactive Investor. iWeb has an old fashioned website but you soon get used to it. It has to be said that HL’s customer service is very good but I have quite simple needs so it’s not a deal breaker for me.

  • 2712 Tonnerrian May 2, 2022, 5:56 pm

    Ah, I see what you mean. It may not be quite this, but it sounds like Fidelity’s is like setting up a Direct Debit (which requires sufficient heads up etc. to change), whilst AJ Bell is much more flexible. In your experience, could I use AJ Bell’s regular investing to buy as and when I can – through turning the tap on / off? If yes, then AJ Bell is a slam dunk for me.

  • 2713 Barney May 3, 2022, 1:32 pm
  • 2714 The Investor May 3, 2022, 1:49 pm

    @Barney — Cheers for thinking of us with this, but it’s old news. 🙂

    From December:

    https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/news/abrdn-purchases-interactive-investor-for-1-5bn/

  • 2715 Barney May 3, 2022, 1:55 pm

    And I hear that Mafekin has been relieved too.

  • 2716 Marc May 22, 2022, 10:52 am

    I recently moved to HL to reduce cost with their £45 capped fees, but I need to swap my funds for the equivalent ETFs. Is this a bad time to do so even if I buy immediately after I sell?
    Thanks

  • 2717 IvanOpinion May 22, 2022, 12:36 pm

    @Marc
    If you are just swapping, the only issue is that you lose a little if the price goes up between when you sell the fund and buy the ETF. I tend to take the view that it is a flip of a coin whether the price goes up or down, so if I do the switches spread over several days I’ll probably have a few down days and a few up days.

    The longer the gap between selling and buying, the greater the possible price movement. Bear in mind that a fund sale will not take place immediately whereas an ETF purchase is instant. Ideally, you should find out exactly what time of day they calculate the fund price and you should time the ETF purchase for the same time. But that only works if you have spare cash to make the purchase, because you won’t have cash available from the fund sale for a day or two.

  • 2718 IvanOpinion June 14, 2022, 11:39 am

    FX costs

    A few comments in this thread have raised the topic of FX costs and how they vary from platform to platform. Could someone explain a bit more about their relevance for an ETF portfolio?

    I’m thinking of moving my SIPP from BestInvest, as the pot is now worth £93k and the percentage fees are starting to get big. On the face of it, shifting it to Fidelity would save a lot, because they cap platform fees at £45 for ETFs. I know they charge £10 per buy/sell, whereas BI is £5, but I usually only make two purchases per year, so this does not outweigh the percentage fee.

    What do I need to look for to determine whether platform FX charges are relevant? Is it the currency denomination of the ETF? So no FX charges by the platform on GBP denominated ETFs? Or do I need to look at where the ETF is domiciled or which market it is listed on?

    I was planning to go for GBP denominated ETFs like VWRL, HMWO and HMEF. Am I right to think this means I don’t need to worry about FX charges, because I buy and sell in GBP? Does the ETF convert the dividends to GBP itself, or does the platform do that?

  • 2719 The Investor June 14, 2022, 11:54 am

    @IvanOpinion — We have an FX fees post coming next week. I postponed it because I wanted a buffer post (after all my Covid kerfuffle) but it’s already written and in the torpedo tubes.

  • 2720 Chris B June 14, 2022, 12:40 pm

    Ivan, consider VWRP or VHVG, traded in £ in UK, and accumulating so no $ dividends. VWRL, HMWO, HMEF dividends are in $, so you will pay FX fee. I think the only exception is if your broker has multi-currency accounts, like Interactive Brokers, then the dividend should be kept as USD.

  • 2721 IvanOpinion June 14, 2022, 1:02 pm

    @Chris B
    Thanks. No doubt TI will go into this more in the imminent article, but very helpful to know that it is the dividends that are the issue.

    The cost might be quite low, I imagine. If the ETF yields, say, 1% and the FX charge is, say, 1%, then the cost is 1 basis point. So, I might still be better off going for HMWO and HMEF, which are a few BP cheaper than the Vanguard accumulation ETFs.

  • 2722 Kante June 16, 2022, 4:44 pm

    Sadly It looks like there’s no competition to Fidelity £45 capped fees for SIPPs holding ETFs exclusively.. Nothing else is under £100
    What would be the 2nd best option? AjBell? thanks

  • 2723 IvanOpinion June 16, 2022, 5:47 pm

    Interactive Investor is £120 for their SIPP if you have another account with them. Same price as AJB, but with II the price applies whether you hold funds or ETFs.

  • 2724 The Accumulator June 16, 2022, 8:22 pm

    @ Kante – yes, that’s what I do – diversify between Fidelity and AJ

  • 2725 Kante June 17, 2022, 8:03 am

    Thanks @IvanOpinion and @The Accumulator

    @TA what’s the main reason you don’t keep everything with a single platform?

    @IvanOpinion, do I need an ISA with Interactive Investor to get the £120 fee or would it work with a dealing account that I would open just to fund the fees?

    Thanks

  • 2726 IvanOpinion June 17, 2022, 8:08 am

    @Kante
    A dealing account would do it.

  • 2727 ¬V June 20, 2022, 4:40 pm

    Hi, I’m new to investing and looking to invest around 100GBP per month, and gradually increase. What is the best platform I should use? Intend to buy stocks and ISA.

  • 2728 Kante June 21, 2022, 7:27 pm

    hi @IvanOpinion
    Is there a way to pay only the SIPP fee (£120) with iinvestor as I can see a £9.99 / month plan charged on top ?
    Thanks

  • 2729 Andrew June 21, 2022, 8:14 pm

    @Kante. It’s called the “SIPP builder” plan and it’s £12.99/mo. To switch to it you need to close any general dealing or ISA you hold there.

  • 2730 IvanOpinion June 21, 2022, 8:24 pm

    https://www.ii.co.uk/ii-accounts/sipp/sipp-charges
    “If you already have our ISA or Trading Account, you can add a SIPP for just £10 a month (plus your existing monthly fee).”

  • 2731 Jay June 23, 2022, 5:02 pm

    Thank you Monevator for such an amazing website and comparision. I wanted to ask if anyone has lloyds share dealing and can share customer service experience. ? Mainly looking to invest in funds in ISAs. is there any private messaging service for help/queries or is it calling them everytime? Does it take very long to get through to them? Are customer service knowledgeable and helpful? Thanks

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