I’ve been with Hargreaves Lansdown since I started investing about 6 years ago. They’ve been great - excellent platform and excellent customer service. But they are pricey, particularly if you invest in funds. So I’m looking to move to a lower-cost platform.
I’m considering Vanguard Investor and Freetrade, but these both have downsides which lead me to want to consider others as well.
Freetrade - Can’t transfer in ISA, limited range of ETFs, no access to unit trusts, mobile-only
Vanguard Investor - No access to individual stocks or non-Vanguard funds.
Would appreciate some suggestions for other platforms that have a wider range of investment options than Freetrade and Vanguard Investor but lower cost than Hargreaves Lansdown. Warnings against particular platforms would also be helpful.
I will likely hold 1-2 funds and 3-4 individually picked stocks (all within an ISA wrapper), and will likely make 6-12 trades per year - most regular investments via direct debit.
I have no interest in Roboadvisors like Nutmeg or Wealthify.
I can recommend freetrade - it’s a really nice app and is rapidly improving and crucially has low amd flat fees. Worth joining the queue at least. They have no transfer in, but are planning it and are expanding stock choice inc. US so those caveats will soon be gone. I like their future plans and user engagement so have high hopes. They have a very Monzo attitude.
I’m in a similar situation to you but don’t want to transfer as see some safety in spreading my retirement savings between providers. So I’m keeping the HL ISA and going to open a new freetrade one. Depends how much you have and what age but this might be an option.
Vanguard sound good too for cheap etfs but much more linited so doesn’t really fit with your mix of stocks and etf.
I do think HL are one of the better offerings but they are expensive and the fees are not very easy to work out. I also have a feeling Monzo will start offering investment options at some point so that might be worth waiting for.
You might find more ideas on this thread about freetrade competitors.
I have a Freetrade account, but not yet convinced it’s for me for the reasons mentioned in the OP.
I’d be more willing to spread over multiple platforms if the rule for only subscribing to one S&S ISA per year didn’t exist. For simplicity I’d prefer to avoid having to decide each year which of my platforms I will and won’t subscribe to in that year, at least for the next few years.
The way I’ve done it is to build a substantial pot at HL, which I intend to leave without touching, and then I’m going to start next year with freetrade and build there for a while. Agree it would get confusing to switch back and forth.
I use Interactive Investor (ii.co.uk). It’s £9.95 per trade, and if you don’t trade much, they also charge I think £22.50 a quarter, although this goes towards future trades. The interface is pretty good, although the prices are not real-time. The app is a bit rubbish too - I tend to use the website on my mobile.