A ll that most investors need from an investment shop is the ability to easily buy and hold a selection of funds in an Isa or pension at reasonable cost, along with a usable website and decent customer service when required.
Naturally, cost is often the most important factor for investors — and Telegraph Money r egularly reports on how the various firms compare in this respect. S o, if we put cost aside, which is the best investment platform?
There is no single answer for everyone, as it depends on exactly what you want from your investment shop. To establish the leaders in a number of categories, we spoke to investment expert Holly Mackay, who has opened accounts in her own name with all the major platforms, and consulted reviews from StockBrokers.
The old service did rank highly in a number of areas, and some of these features may have been maintained. Another point to bear in mind is that Interactive Investor and TD Direct are merging and customers will soon be moved to a single platform under the Interactive name.
The details have yet to be confirmed. Hargreaves Lansdown, the largest of the investment shops, is well known for its customer service. Their people on the phones pick up quickly, are human beings and know their stuff. StockBrokers gave Hargreaves four stars out of five for customer service. It ranked Halifax as the best, however, with four and a half stars.
The most comprehensive platforms will offer access to a huge range of funds, exchange-traded funds and stocks. Typically, newer services offer fewer options, as it takes time to build up a suite of different types of asset.
While the home pages of certain investment websites may look glossy, they can be less intuitive once you create an account and log in. Many platforms offer research, analysis and buy lists to help you decide how to invest.
However, they tend to allow transactions to be conducted only in pounds, with the investment shop handling the currency conversion — and charging a significant fee to do so. Investors can then use a competitive specialist currency exchange service such as Transferwise to convert their cash and fund the account.
Not all platforms offer mobile apps. The nearest competitor is Interactive Investor on three stars. If the flat charge remains, it will be cheap for larger portfolios and will have advantages for those who trade internationally.
We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Click here for instructions. Home News Sport Business. Customer service Hargreaves Lansdown, the largest of the investment shops, is well known for its customer service. Usability While the home pages of certain investment websites may look glossy, they can be less intuitive once you create an account and log in. Help and analysis available Many platforms offer research, analysis and buy lists to help you decide how to invest.
Remember, no matter what the platform, Isa investors can hold cash only in sterling. Mobile App Not all platforms offer mobile apps. Follow us for more investing ideas: We've noticed you're adblocking. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Thank you for your support.More...