Find the best online broker for your portfolio size

Platform pricing: the detail you need to make the right choice

Money Observer has lined up 22 major investment platforms to help you find the best online broker, taking into account charges and the range of investments on offer, with the help of platform consultancy The Lang Cat. With so much confusion about the true cost of investing we hope this will help you make an informed choice when deciding which investment platform to invest with.

We have ranked the platforms in order of total cost of running a £100,000 portfolio assuming 10 trades per year. For fees charged on individual savings accounts and Sipp portfolios, see our separate articles here.

Please bear in mind information was correct at the time of writing. When we become aware of changes we will update the article but we can't guarantee that all information will be correct. If you spot an error please contact us with a description and a link to the correct information.

If you wish to view the whole of this special report in one place, you can do so in the July edition of Money Observer.  Click here to subscribe and receive three copies worth £14.95 for just £1.

Click on fund platform name to skip down and view its details
AJ BellHalifax
Alliance Trust SavingsHargreaves Lansdown
Axa Self InvestorInteractive Investor
BarclaysiWeb
BestinvestJames Hay
CavendishRplan
Charles StanleyStrawberry
Chelsea Financial ServicesTD Direct
Close BrothersThe Share Centre
ClubFinanceTrustnet
FidelityWillis Owen

 

1. HALIFAX

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £63

Dealing: shares and funds £12.50 per online trade. Telephone trades are £25 per trade. There are no monthly or annual administration charges on the online share dealing account. Regular investments are charged at £2 per trade.

Accounts: a Stocks and Shares Isa is £12.50 per year. Quarterly Sipp charge £22.50 up to £50,000, doubling to £45 if you go over that amount.

Platform fees: no administration fee.

Range of assets: UK and international shares, funds, ETFs, investment trusts, bonds and gilts.

Tools and features: range of research tools, company analysis tool, news and education sections, information and stat channel for investment companies, detailed analysis of funds by fund manager and sector, fund screener charges and performance tool.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


2. INTERACTIVE INVESTOR

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £80

Dealing: Interactive Investor charge £20 per quarter, including two free trades.

Accounts: for a Sipp account there is a flat fee of £96 plus VAT per year.

Platform fees: real-time trades (all assets) are £10 each; frequent traders get a rate of £5 and UK shares can be bought for a regular investment rate of £1.50.

Range of assets: whole of market coverage, including UK and international shares, ETFs, investment trusts, VCTs, funds, bonds, gilts, warrants, futures, options, forex, CFDs, spread-betting and retail bonds.

Tools and features: fund and share research; selection filters; virtual portfolio for tracking and monitoring potential investments

Ready-made portfolios: a range of 12 model portfolios catering for different risk profiles and time horizons. These are available at £10 per portfolio.

Visit Website

Back to menu


3. ALLIANCE TRUST SAVINGS

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £140

Dealing: reduce over time - £12.50 a trade (online) for first five years, reducing over time to £9.38 for 20 years and longer.

Accounts: Isa at £7.50 a month, Sipp 'savings' at £15 plus VAT a month, Sipp 'income' at £21.25 plus VAT a month, Junior Isa at £3.33 a month, Child Sipp at £6.65 plus VAT a month

Platform fees: an individual dealing account is £7.50 a month.

Range of assets: unit trusts, Oeics, ETFs, ETCs, UK equities, Aim shares, share certificates, UK gilts and corporate bonds, investment trusts.

Tools and features: online trading dividend re-investment, investment research, online valuations, transaction history, statement and valuations and online customer magazine.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


4. JAMES HAY

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £180

Dealing: Investment Centre transactions (buy, sell or switch) – £Nil (online) or £20 (paper instruction). External investments (buy, sell or switch) - £20 (online) or £50 (paper instruction).

Accounts: annual Sipp fee £195, waived if more than £195,000 in core investments.

Platform fees: 0.18 per cent on up to £500,000; 0.15 per cent on £500,000-£1 million; 0.05 per cent on £1 million plus.

Range of assets: UK shares including Aim, overseas shares, investment trusts, UK Reits, ETFs, government securities, loan stocks, derivatives, unit-linked funds, commercial property, collective investments, fixed-term deposits, second-hand or traded endowment policies, structured products, income bonds, National Savings and Investment products, unquoted private shares, investment-grade gold bullion.

Tools and features: illustrations, trade tracking, reports, including daily valuations and transaction history among others; literature library; access to the Selftrade trader terminal for equity trades; market research and company data; performance reporting; asset allocations; fund Research for iSipp; cash alerting; investment managers money transfers and cross-client analysis.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, investment portfolios for various risk profiles and investment objectives.

Visit Website

Back to menu


5. THE SHARE CENTRE

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £184

Dealing: trades (all assets) 1 per cent. Frequent trader option (£20 plus VAT per quarter) costs £7.50 per trade flat fee.

Accounts: Sipp £12 plus VAT a month (£178.20 per year).

Platform fees: a monthly admin fee of £1.50 + VAT per month; regular investing is charged at 0.5 per cent.

Range of assets: shares, funds, investment trusts, bonds, gilts, ETPs, complex investments such as securitised derivatives.

Tools and features: share and fund pickers, 120 selected 'platinum' funds, fund comparison tool, investment guides, how-to videos, a view on every FTSE 100 share, buy list of recommended stocks, range of articles and guidance for new and experienced investors.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, for cautious, positive or adventurous investors, all funds of funds, no dealing commission.

Visit Website

Back to menu


6= IWEB 

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £220

Dealing: equity and fund trades £5 each. For international trades there's a 1.5 per cent foreign currency charge.

Accounts: one-off £200 charge for first account.

Platform fees: no annual or monthly charges. No inactivity charges.

Range of assets: UK stocks, ETFs, unit trusts, bonds, also shares available on some international exchanges.

Tools and features: research centre, including stock exchange data and analysis of funds and stocks; company information.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


6= AJ BELL - YOUINVEST

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £100 if all in shares, £250 if all in funds

Dealing: fund transaction fee is £1.50; regular investment trading fee is £1.50; equity trading fee £9.95.

Accounts: No account charge.

Platform fees: share charges (including investment trusts, ETFs, gilts and bonds) are 0.25 per cent (maximum £25 per quarter for a SIPP, £7.50 per quarter for an ISA or dealing account, £5 per quarter for a Junior Isa). Fund charges (including unit trusts, OEICs and structured products): first £0-£250,000 charged at 0.25 per cent, between £250,000 and £1 million is 0.1 per cent, £1 million-£2 million is 0.05 per cent and over £2 million has no charge.

Range of assets: funds including clean funds, UK and Irish shares, international shares from 21 markets, ETFs, ETCs, investment trusts, government bonds, corporate bonds, PIBs and covered warrants.

Tools and features: research centre powered by Morningstar and covering shares, funds, ETFs and investment trusts, sector tools and quick-rank tools, an 'x-ray' portfolio tool, news, index information, and Sipp illustration tool.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, three global tracker fund portfolios for a cautious, balanced and adventorous investor.

Visit Website

Back to menu


6= CLUBFINANCE

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £240

Dealing: fund transactions free, equities £2.50 per trade with a loyalty bonus for larger sums - £1.50 rebate for £250,000-plus, £2 rebate for £500,000 plus. Loyalty bonus capped at £4,000 per year.

Accounts: no additional fee for Isa or Sipp.

Platform fees: annual platform charge 0.24 per cent, collected quarterly, with minimum £30 per quarter.

Range of assets: shares, investment trusts and funds.

Tools and features: access to Sharecast market and shares news and tips, charting tools, portfolio x-ray, fund comparison and research.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


6= TRUSTNET DIRECT

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £240

Dealing: fund/share transactions £10 per trade, £6 for frequent traders.

Accounts: annual Sipp administration charge of £96.

Platform fees: annual service charge 0.25 per cent (capped at £200 a year).

Range of assets: clean share class funds, unit trusts, Oeics, all London investment trusts, ETFs, VCTs, bond funds and IPOs.

Tools and features: access to all FE research, data, editorial features, extensive selection of tools, demonstration portfolios.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, three portfolios - accumulator, consolidator and income generator - for the three broad stages of investment, as well as four portfolios for more specific situations, including regular Isa saving, 'retirement booster', school fee planner and 'mortgage buster'.

Visit Website

Back to menu


10= CAVENDISH ONLINE

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £250

Dealing: investment trusts and ETPs dealing fee of 0.1 per cent.

Accounts: no account fees for Isa or Sipp but one-off £35 initial fee for personal pensions.

Platform fees: ongoing platform charge of 0.25 per cent for Isa and investment accounts (0.2 per cent on the entire balance for accounts worth over £500,000) or 0.3 per cent for Sipp accounts (0.25 per cent on the entire balance for accounts worth over £500,000); plus fund manager charges of 0.06 to 1.96 per cent.

Range of assets: full range available on FundsNetwork platform: around 3,000 funds, plus 80 exchange traded products and 90 investment trusts.

Tools and features: 'almost identical' to those available to those on the Fidelity website, including portfolio x-ray analysis and Chart & Compare.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, 12 in total, maintained by an external company and reviewed and updated monthly.

Visit Website

Back  to menu


10= CHARLES STANLEY DIRECT

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £250

Dealing: fund transactions free, equities £10 per trade.

Accounts: Sipp charge £100 plus VAT per year.

Platform fees: shares 0.25 per cent, capped between £20 and £150, waived if minimum six chargeable trades made in a six-month period; funds 0.25 per cent up to £500,000 across platform, then dropping to 0.15 per cent on funds in excess of £500,000 across all accounts, reducing to 0.05 per cent on fund holdings in excess of £2 million.

Range of assets: clean price funds, UK shares, ETFs, investment trusts, gilts, corporate bonds.

Tools and features: list of preferred investments, including funds and investment trusts and passive investments.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, five example portfolios for different types of investor.

Visit Website

Back to menu


10= CLOSE BROTHERS

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £250

Dealing: transaction charge for equities, investment trusts, ETFs gilts, £8.95 per trade.

Accounts: no Isa or Sipp fees

Platform fees: annual charge for equities, investment trusts and ETFs 0.25 per cent.

Range of assets: UK equities, investment trusts, UK gilts, fixed-term deposits, unit trusts and Oeics.

Tools and features: fund research notes, watchlist, portfolio x-ray and monitoring of off-platform assets, Close 50 funds list.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, the Close Discretionary Managed funds.

Visit Website

Back to menu


13. TD DIRECT

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £300

Dealing: fund transactions free. Equities, ETFs, bonds, trusts £12.50 per trade; frequent traders £5.95 or £8.95.

Accounts: Isas £0 if balance £5,100 plus at end May; otherwise £30 + VAT per year. Sipps 0.25 per cent per half year, max £100 + VAT.

Platform fees: funds platform charge tiered 0.3 to 0.2 per cent with £1,500 annual cap.

Range of assets: UK equities, investment trusts, unit trusts and ETFs, Reits, 17 international markets, spread betting, CFDs, forex trading, futures, covered warrants.

Tools and features: portfolio x-ray, virtual portfolio, fund and ETF selectors, 60 recommended funds list, daily trading ideas and technical insights.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


14. STRAWBERRY

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £310

Dealing: fund transactions free. Equities, investment trusts and ETFs £9.50 per trade.

Accounts: Sipp fee £100 plus VAT per year.

Platform charge: 0.35 per cent on up to £50,000; 0.25 per cent £50,000-£1 million; 0.1 per cent above.

Range of assets: UK Oeics and unit trusts, Ucits IV-compliant overseas Oeics and Sicavs, UK investment trusts, ETFs, LSE main market and Aim equities.

Tools and features: research centre for tracking and comparing performance, investor guides, multi-asset investment ideas for first-time investors, top 20 investment list, and a 'Make it Easy' service to help investors hit their goals potentially through target date funds.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, target date funds available through the 'Make it Easy' service.

Visit Website

Back to menu


15= AXA SELF INVESTOR

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £350

Dealing: no trading fees.

Accounts: no account admin fee for funds. No Sipp account available.

Platform charge: 0.35 per cent for first £250,000 for Isa or trading account, falling to 0.20 per cent for anything further.

Range of assets: more than 1,250 funds.

Tools and features: risk profiler, Isa value forecaster, top 100 'favourite funds'.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, three quick start portfolios (bond-led, mixed asset, equity-led). Also five all-in-one multi-asset funds managed by Architas.

Visit Website

Back to menu


15= BARCLAYS

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £350

Dealing: equities £11.95 a trade, falling to £8.95 for 10 or more and £5.95 for 20 or more.

Accounts: Sipp charge £155 plus VAT per year; Isa account charge £30 plus VAT per year, if invested in anything other than funds.

Platform fee: 0.35 per cent (minimum £35, maximum £1,750).

Range of assets: funds, equities, ETPs, investment trusts, covered warrants, gilts, structured products, IPOs and corporate bonds.

Tools and features: research centre, monthly publication, virtual portfolio tool, educational content via Smart Investor web portal, price improver system to compare trading prices available to clients.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


17= FIDELITY PERSONAL INVESTING

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £350

Dealing: no longer providing a share dealing service.

Accounts: no account fees for Isa or Sipp.

Platform fees: 0.35 per cent, up to £250,000. The fee drops to 0.2 per cent on the whole portfolio for investors with more than £250,000. No charges on assets held above £1 million.

Range of assets: funds, trusts and ETFs.

Tools and features: guidance service, Investment Explorer iPad app, Nisa and junior Isa calculator, price comparisons, a 'select 50 list' of favourite funds, investment guides, 'people like me' tool with information about choices made by investors in similar circumstances, analysis of funds by fund manager and sector. Investment video hub.

Ready-made portfolios: no, but there is a Fidelity PathFinder tool, which suggests in-house Fidelity funds for various risk levels.

Visit Website

Back to menu


17= RPLAN

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £350

Dealing: can only buy funds.

Accounts: no account fees for Isa.

Platform fees: flat percentage fee of 0.35 per cent.

Range of assets: around 1,500 funds.

Tools and features: savings plan tool, fund selector and filter, rated funds, range of guides and videos.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, four pre-selected portfolios for different risk profiles.

Visit Website

Back to menu


17= WILLIS OWEN

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £350

Dealing: £7.50 per trade. Accounts Isa and Sipps – the latter carries an annual administration fee of £132.

Platform fee: tiered fees of 0.4 per cent for the first £50,000, dropping down to 0.3 per cent for the next £50,001 to £100,000, 0.2 per cent for the next £100,001 to £250,000 and 0.15 per cent for the next £250,001 plus. Fund transactions free. Sliding annual fee ranging from 0.40 down to 0.15 per cent. Previously levied platform fee paid to Cofunds, but this has been removed since the launch of Willis Owen's own platform.

Range of assets: funds, ETFs, investment trusts and shares.

Tools and features: Your Space online investment portfolio, including research and valuations, Play Space virtual portfolio, free online tool to access all investments, including pensions, bonds, shares, Sipps, or Isas.

Ready-made portfolios: no.

Visit Website

Back to menu


20 tILNEY BESTINVEST

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £400

Dealing: £7.50 per share trade.

Accounts: Sipp platform charge 0.3 per cent for first £250,000 and 0.2 per cent for next £750,000, with charges capped at that point.

Platform fees: Isa platform charge 0.4 per cent for first £250,000 but otherwise similar.

Range of assets: Oeics, unit trusts, offshore funds, UK shares including investment trusts and ETFs.

Tools and features: extensive analytical tools for asset allocation, benchmarking against a model, volatility and performance, as well as research notes covering managers' careers and performance history, and a selection of rated funds; tools to calculate mortgage payments, school fees, build a nest egg or plan for retirement; portfolio subdivision into customised 'baskets' which can be renamed at investor discretion.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, ready-made portfolio options, which are selected according to investor goals and risk appetite.

Visit Website

Back to menu


21. HARGREAVES LANSDOWN

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £450

Dealing: equity trading £11.95 for up to nine trades a month, £8.95 for 10 to 19 and £5.95 for 20 or more. No set-up cost or annual fee for equities.

Accounts: Isas and Sipps have a platform charge of 0.45 per cent (explained in more detail below).

Platform fees: funds have an annual charge of 0.45 per cent for the first £250,000, falling to 0.25 per cent up to £1 million and 0.10 per cent for between £1 million and £2 million. No charge for anything over £2 million. Equities, ETFs and investment trusts charged 0.45 per cent a year, capped at £200 for Sipps and £45 for Isas, no charge for fund and share account.

Range of assets: cash, corporate bonds, gilts, ETFs, ETCs, passive and active funds, UK shares including Aim and overseas shares, investment trusts.

Tools and features: financial planning calculators, portfolio x-ray, live prices, charting tools, investment research and ideas, master portfolio, knowledge centre with 28 free guides.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, master portfolios, Hargreaves Lansdown multi manager funds and investment ideas.

Visit Website

Back to menu


22. CHELSEA FINANCIAL SERVICES

£100,000 Portfolio charge - £600

Dealing: does not provide a share dealing service.

Accounts: account fees for Isa and Sipp same as the platform charge.

Platform fees: 0.6 per cent to £250,000, 0.55 per cent over £250,000, 0.5 per cent over £500,000, 0.4 per cent over £1 million and 0.15 per cent for more than £2 million.

Range of assets: 2,500 funds.

Tools and features: portfolio comparisons, portfolio x-ray, top 10 stocks, research centre; features to be made available on new website.

Ready-made portfolios: yes, five EasyIsa portfolios with six funds each.

Visit Website

Back to menu


sipp-platform-charges-and-fees

isa-platform-charges-and-fees

lang-cat-portfolio-charges-footnote


Subscribe to Money Observer magazine

 

Comments

platform charges

Oh dear- although the fact that Bell have just increased their charges is mentioned at the top of the page the writer has forgotten to update the information in the body and tables of the article. New custody charges are 0.25% and crucially there is no longer a cap of £200 which rather changes things! Disappointing.

RE: platform charges

Hi Lynn

Thanks for your comment. AJ Bell's platform changes do not come into effect until 1 October 2016 so, as of now, the copy and tables are correct.

We will fully update the piece once the changes are in place. Until then, we have added a small disclaimer in the relevant place.

Thanks
David
Web editor, Money Observer

Beware the extra "stealth fees"

Unfortunately, this article doesn't take into account the various stealth fees that some of the more devious platforms have introduced and which can make a substantial difference to the real costs.

Hargreaves Lansdown reported to its shareholders that with the help of its new extra charges their margins would remain at around 0.65% - well above their headline figure of 0.45%.

These include huge fees per fund to leave plus additional account closure fees and for transferring cash; fees for paper statements or transaction notes; fees for corporate actions etc. - the list goes on.

Perhaps most offensive is the new "death fee" whereby HL will charge the newly bereaved £36.00 for every fund or stock held for probate valuation so would typically be hundreds of pounds.

A better example is set by Fidelity and Cavendish who have almost no additional fees and allow investors to leave without charge but the lesson is that clients should always study the small print to understand what they might really pay.

Regular Monthly Saver option

Although a well researched article it doesn't give costs for regular monthly trades by Direct Debit. ATS comes out the most expensive on the tables, but if you invest £1250 per month into an ISA the trading fee is only £1.50 per share. Please can we have a chart showing those platforms that offer this option?

What about the additional stealth charges

You seem to have completely ignored all the stealth fees that some of the more devious platforms have introduced.

It's been estimated for example that little mentioned extra in the smal-print charges pushes the typical real cost of Hargreaves Lansdown to over 0.65%.

These include huge fees per fund to leave plus additional account closure fees and for transferring cash; fees for paper statements or transaction notes; fees for corporate actions etc. - the list goes on.

Perhaps most offensive is the new "death fee" whereby HL will charge the newly bereaved £36.00 for every fund or stock held for probate valuation so would typically be hundreds of pounds.

A better example is set by Fidelity and Cavendish who have almost no additional fees and allow investors to leave without charge.

Another thing to look at

The trading platforms available to an account i.e.

Browser, Ipad, Iphone, Android Phone, Android Tablet, Windows 8 App, Standard Windows App

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.