Buckle up, folks, it’s time for another Fintech Q&A!
Later this week, we’ll be joined by Adam Dodds - CEO and Founder of Freetrade!
What is Freetrade?
Freetrade’s a startup stockbroker building the world’s best investment app. They offer free investing in the stock market through direct ownership of stocks and exchange traded funds.
They believe in opening investing to everyone by making it radically more affordable, accessible and simple.
They launched in September of this year and have quickly shipped big new features like their Investment ISAs (tax-wrapped investing accounts). They kicked off with UK stocks, but are shipping US stocks in January 2019. They’ve built their product mobile first with a gorgeous iOS app (Android coming early 2019).
But they’re not just a fancy app. In contrast to old-school stockbrokers, they’re building a user-first business model. Their basic investing service, with trades executed at the end of the day, is free. Freetrade only charge for the premium features (Instant trades, ISAs) that users want. No big commissions, no making money off leverage and no percentage-based fees on portfolio size.
They want to be the torch that lights a whole new culture around investing and takes it from an fusty, expensive service to a sustainable way for everybody to grow their money.
Adam will be here later on this week to answer your questions, so ask away!
How many times have you considered firing Alex?
I’ll accept a weekly average.
Cue every question being…
When’s the Android app coming!?!
Seriously though, when’s the Android app coming?
I’m this || close to flagging that.
Can you bump me up the queue coz I don’t wanna wait till 70k other people get their invites?
I have been using Freetrade for quite a while now and I am loving it!
Will there be a transfer service so I can get rid of Hargreaves Lansdown but keep the shares I currently have with them on Freetrade?
Apart from fees, what sets Freetrade apart from the more established companies and newer ones like BUX and possibly Revolut’s trading platform (whatever that turns out to be)?
What kind of plans are there for making more information visible in the app for users to keep up to date on the various stocks etc. without the need to reliance of more third party apps and sites?
Do you have an concerns in the long run that the short descriptions (Bt: ‘slow internet’ for example) may push a bias on Freetrade users when the descriptions don’t accurately reflect a business?
Obviously a phone app has limited space. Are there future plans for tablet or web interfaces that allow much more fine grain and detailed information to be displayed?
When do you expect to support inward transfers of ISA holdings from elsewhere?
Any plans to support OEIC funds?
Any plans to have a web interface? I don’t really like having investing app on my phone. Too much temptation to look and tinker regularly.
How many genuine people do you think are really in your queue of 70,000 unverified email addresses? Back in the day Monzo had an issue where hundreds of thousands of signups were actually tens of thousands of real people, and I fear your queue might be the same.
I know someone who routinely signs up for stuff with 10 email addresses to get to the front of the queue. He gets to the front and when the other 9 of him are invited they all mysteriously decide they no longer want to join. (I’m not describing myself by the way!)
Hey, my dog really wanted an account and then changed his mind!
Will you be giving the crowd the chance to invest again at the next round - or will it be only VC Funding?
Will you be offering nationality declarations soon so we can start investing in some of the defence and airline stocks from the LSE?
With Android coming soon - will existing IOS users be able to swap to Android instantly at launch without the need to be in a waiting list/queue when it is launched?
Congratulations on getting 10k Onboarded users - what do you predict the user based to be over the next 12 months? I suspect you may have a trendline/research of some description you can base a reasonable estimate from?
With the launch of the ISA it seems you can only have either a GIA or an ISA and not both? (I maybe wrong here though - so please correct me if I am) Will this change in the future - so you can offer both accounts simultaneously to your customers?
With Bux seeming to be on your heels with commission free Stock market access for European customers - do you feel some competition in this area is a good thing. And is it a concern to you that some other companies may muscle in on your growth over the next 18 months.
I know there was talk of a subsidiary being set up in the past for somewhere in Europe. Is this still on the table?
Have you and Monzo been in talks for a Freetrade pot integration yet? Do you have any future information you could possibly talk about regarding this?
Will you look at integrating with EMMA at any point in the near future? Or do you have any other money management app that you may prefer to integrate with?
Given Monzo’s goal of being a financial hub, do you see yourself working with them to offer your service via the Monzo app for example?
Building on @Bradley’s question, there’s been some spirited discussion here and on the Freetrade forum about integration with Monzo.
You’ve previously said that you’d like you integrate with Monzo but don’t want to pay for it. More recently, I think, you’ve said that you’re anti intermediaries in general.
Could you let us know your current thoughts and what an integration might look like? Alternatively, are you thinking about an API so that folk like Monzo and Emma can display Freetrade account data with the minimum of input from you?
(My thoughts are here for anyone curious enough to wonder what random man on the internet thinks).
Great job on the app and launch, by the way
Firstly, thanks for the app, I’ve wanted something like this for a long time. My questions are:
Which things frustrate you most about the current investment ecosystem?
Which areas of investment do you think will change in the next 10 years or so?
After the success of Monzo’s in app crowdfunding, is that something Freetrade will consider?
Is managing a team of almost 30 becoming significantly more difficult than when it was about 10? What are the key management challanges and how are you coping if there are any?
If you had to swap places with another European fintech CEO who would it be - and why?