Freetrade or something else?

I’ve been recently feeling that it is time for me to experiment a bit with stock and shares trading. I am only looking to put in a small amount of money so finding something with low fees and low barriers of entry is crucial. The best option I have found so far was Freetrade’s general investment account. As the amount of money is going to be very low at least for now I shouldn’t need tax shielding from ISA. Are there any other platforms you would reccomend I check out before opening an account with them?

If you’re new you may find investing in funds and ETFs a better option. Take a look at HL, their fees are low and it’s a very reputable platform.

If you start off with funds then you can see the spread of your investment across a number of companies and get a feel how several do at a time rather than riding one companies fortunes.

I thought ETFs are available with Freetrade as well with their basic account? I was planning on putting most of the money into some funds.

I should probably also mention that the bulk of my short term saving go into regular savings accounts and LISA and my pension contributions are in widely diversified ETFs. This would be mostly just play money.

They may well be but it’s quite limited. They don’t have a full range. I’m not a fan of freetrade though so I am biased.

While Freetrade don’t have the number of stocks available that others do yet they are regularly adding to the stock list. They now have over 3,800 available


I’ll vouch for Freetrade too. Whilst not all ETFs are on it, the majority of the good ones are. I find ETF performance underwhelming though so invest in funds that reliably beat them and stocks I like.

Freetrade is now my main investment platform of choice and has been for about a year.

Definitely worth playing with if you’re wanting to experiment with buying stocks with a small cash amount.

Trading 212 is a better option if you want:

A better looking app

More stocks but the gap is narrowing

Far, far quicker Withdrawals


I’d vouch for Freetrade too. They had no-commission trading unlike HL.

I now run all of my trades through there, including ETF’s (S&P500, FTSE All World, £INRG, FTSE100 etc).

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Another vote for Freetrade.

Trading 212 definitely look interesting. Especially the free ISA and uk fractional shares. I assume Freetrade still only offers fractional shares for US stocks?

Couldn’t disagree more. I absolute hate the T212 interface design. Freetrade’s app is nothing special, but at least it doesn’t look hideous.

A very subjective thing though.

From a UX stand point though, T212 is, to be blunt, crap.


I assume you mean actively managed funds? I am still a bit unsure about the correct terminology, I thought ETFs are funds.
If I may what favourite funds do you have?

I do. I favour £PCT, £SMT, £USA, £IEM, £TRIG, £ATT.

I want to buy £ORIT too, but that’s locked behind the plus subscription for now.

The only ETF I’m actually invested in right now is £INRG

As ever, do your own research though.

Edit: added links


Go £INRG :raised_hands:


I think it’s subjective.

Freetrade looks a bit like a kiddies game imo

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It’s a massive headache moving from a GIA to ISA at a later date, so I’d think carefully about an ISA, even if you’re starting small. In which case, Trading212 may be more attractive, as the fixed Freetrade ISA fee will hurt, if you’ve only got a small pot

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@Odvarkad Having both I can say Freetrade is fine if you don’t care about having a lot of choice, or having wavey charts, or paying £3/£10 just to put in limit and stop orders.

T212 has close to 10,000 instruments, no fee for ISA, decent charts, you have a clear idea of spread too so the buy and sell price is shown.

If you are wanting a quick way to deposit monthly and for it to auto buy then it has pies too.

Don’t be swayed by the fancy pink interface of FreeTrade. Although T212 might look boring in comparison it’s light years ahead in the tools it gives you.

Free share referral:
Edit: PM me instead if you the link :wink:

Edit: for transparency that referral :point_up_2: gives both you and me a free share each that’s worth anything from 1 to a 100 pound.

As mentioned always pick ISA and fill that up first with £20k before thinking of using Invest. The only time to use Invest is for non-ISA eligible stocks if you really want them.


I would definitely enjoy being able to have ISA for free. I’ve been looking at how T212 makes money as there are no fees or commisions and it says they make profit through spread but couldnt really find how it is calculated and how big of an impact it makes. Is it something to worry about or does it tend to be fairly low with low inpact on the total cost?

The T212 spreads in the ISA (and Invest) are raw, so there’s no markup or widening at all. So the ASK (buy) and BID (sell) are exactly what they are.
It doesn’t charge either on buying foreign currency so again it’s the raw GBP into say USD or EUR. When you buy foreign stocks it actually helps show what the gain/loss is from the stock and what the FX impact is (so if the pound has gained or weakened against it).

T212 is profitable by transparent sharing lending in Invest side and via the CFD platform fees. The CFD does widen the spread, charges 0.5 FX and you pay swap fees for holding overnight. It’s used for day trading and allows you to take a short position (you think the stock will go down). I would actually recommend another platform called CMC instead if you ever try it. But I would strongly recommend using the practice mode and nuking that a few times when playing with leverage. If you are new to investing it’s not worth looking at CFD when you start out. Stick to going long in ISA/Invest with your own funds, and avoid going short until you really get to grips with it.

T212 made a post just the other day that the Invest/ISA side is profitable which is ace.

If or anyone wants to say hi I’m here on the forum. I’m not staff or connected with T212 just an enthusiastic customer who likes investing and hopefully getting very rich in the process!



I use Vanguard Investor.

Unlike Free trade/Trading212 the ISA is flexible. Meaning one can withdraw and put money back in without burning the allowance.

The fee is small percentage across any of their accounts - general, ISA, junior ISA, SIPP. No other fees for buying/selling/transfering/etc.

The range of funds is limited but as a starter they have nice ESG funds that excluded Gas,OIL,Nuclear,VICEs, risk appetite funds, and just global trackers. One cannot go wrong with just VWRL.

Their pension service does fully electronic paper work pension transfers which are nice. And they do manage to do ISA transfers very quickly for me.

There is direct debit option for fees. And one can do regular investing via direct debit at any date of your choosing. Sales and withdrawals are via BACS.

Buying up VWRL might be easiest thing to do then picking random stocks by hand.

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