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Compare The Best Investment Platforms - Stocks & Shares ISA

Updated On: Mar 31, 2021
Compare the best Investment Platforms

Contents:

Compare The Best Investment Platforms

Typically, your annual charge depends on whether you hold funds or shares in your stocks and shares ISA. Here, we assume you will invest in funds only.

If you plan to invest in individual stocks and shares, use our dedicated investment comparison tool for shares. If you are considering robo-advisors, compare their fees here.

The investment platform comparison tool below shows the annual charges (platform and dealing charges only) for holding funds in a self-select ISA.


Self-select ISAs are a type of stocks and shares ISA that give you the freedom to select the specific investments that make up your portfolio.

And depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual shares, bonds, funds, etc., and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of managed and ready-made portfolios.

To make the best use of the table below, click on the column headers to sort from the most expensive to the cheapest ISA and vice versa. 


For example, if you want to see the cheapest platforms for regular investments of £100 per month, click once on the £100 per month header. To see the most expensive platform for a lump sum investment of £20k, click twice on the £20,000 lump sum header. 


Continue this exercise on all the headers until you find what you are looking for. Then scroll down to read our assumptions and to learn more about Self-select ISAs.

If you need some help choosing an investment provider, click here to view our top picks.

Capital at risk. ISA rules apply.


Platform£100
per Month
£500
per Month
£1,000
per Month
£20,000
Lump Sum
£100,000
Lump Sum
Learn More
AJ Bell Youinvest20263456256DETAILS
Aviva3132680375DETAILS
Barclays60606060212DETAILS
Best Invest3132680400DETAILS
Charles Stanley2112370350DETAILS
Close Brothers281650250DETAILS
EQI 139537195310DETAILS
Fidelity2112370350DETAILS
Halifax6060607474DETAILS
Hargreaves Lansdown3152990450DETAILS
HSBC281650250DETAILS
Interactive Investor120120120120120DETAILS
Interactive Investor168168168168168DETAILS
Interactive Investor240240240240240DETAILS
iWeb2160160160120120DETAILS
Santander2112370275DETAILS
Standard Life2112370350DETAILS
Strawberry24242760250DETAILS
Vanguard151030150DETAILS
Willis Owen3132680350DETAILS

Click here to view our top picks.

Notes

  1. EQi: You'll pay no custody fee in the first two quarters of the year you join, so it'll be more expensive in subsequent years.
  2. IWeb: We included the one-off account opening fee of £100. It will be cheaper in subsequent years where you do not have to pay the account opening fee.

Assumptions

When you invest in a fund, please note, the fund manager will add various charges within the fund, including a fund management fee. We haven't included any fund management fees in our calculations, just the platform and dealing fees.


If you would like an idea of how fund management fees could impact the total amount you pay to a platform, have a look at our other stocks and shares ISA comparison tool - Compare the best Robo Advisors.


The calculations above are based on the following scenarios:


  1. £100 per month regular investment,
  2. £500 per month regular investment, 
  3. £1,000 per month regular investment,
  4. £20,000 lump sum (a year's ISA allowance), or
  5. £100,000 lump sum (if you have some ISAs from previous years and are transferring in).


For regular investments, we assume you'll make 12 deals each year or one deal every month.


For lump sums, we assume you'll make four deals a year.


A deal is either one of buying or selling an investment. It is also called a trade. 


We use the colours green, amber, and red to indicate how expensive or cheap an investment platform is compared to the others. The cheapest investment platforms are coloured green, the more expensive ones red, and the others amber.


That a platform is green doesn't make it the  best investment platform for you as cheap doesn't always equal good. Some of the more expensive platforms could have a wider variety of stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, etc., depending on what you are looking for.


If you are investing small amounts and choose to go with the cheapest Stocks and Shares ISA platform for that amount, note that some of the more expensive platforms become cheaper as your pot increases. Consider Interactive Investor and Halifax Share Dealing, for example.


Additionally, we show the costs which apply to the first year only. It is important to mention this because, with platforms like iWeb, your charges reduce after the first year. Whereas with platforms like EQi, your charges might increase after the first year.


Finally, for each provider listed in our stocks and shares ISA comparison table, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an investment ISA?

An investment ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a tax-free account for buying, selling, and holding investments such as shares, bonds, and funds. This tax year (2021-22), you can invest up to £20,000 in one investment ISA or split the money between an investment ISA and other ISAs. An investment ISA is also called a Stocks and Shares ISA.

2. What are the investment ISA charges?

The main Investment ISA charges are annual platform fee, fund management fee, trading fee, and transfer out fee. Depending on your investment provider and how you choose to invest, there might be some other charges.


  • Annual Platform Fee:‍‍ The investment platform charges this for providing a platform for you to invest. It is usually displayed as a percentage of your investments or a fixed fee.
  • Fund Management Fee: It is also known as Ongoing Charges Figure (OCF) or Total Expense Ratio (TER). This is the fee paid directly to the fund manager and represents the actual cost of your investments.
  • Trading Fee: ‍It is also known as a dealing fee. This is the fee for buying and selling funds or other types of investments on a platform.
  • Transfer Out Fee: It is also known as an exit fee. It is the fee you pay for moving your investments from one provider to another.

3. Should I go with percentage-based charges or fixed fees?

If you have a large amount of money to invest, go with fixed fees. For people with smaller pots, pick platforms with percentage-based charges. Use our investment fees calculator above to visualise the charges before you buy.

4. What is a self-select ISA?

A self-select ISA is a type of Investment ISA that gives you the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio. And depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual investments and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of ready-made portfolios. 


Self-select ISAs providers are also called Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investment platforms.

5. What types of assets can be held within a self-select ISA?

When you open a self-select ISA, you can invest in a range of assets, including:

  • Stocks and shares,
  • Funds,
  • Gilts,
  • Bonds,
  • Investment trusts,
  • Units trusts,
  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs),
  • Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs), and
  • Structured products.

6. How do I open a self-select ISA?

Use our investment platform comparison tool above to select the best investment platform for you. Then visit the platform's website to apply for an account. Once your account is open, you will be able to choose funds and start building your portfolio. 


If you need help choosing investments, most providers in the table above offer ready-made portfolios and financial advice. Financial advice typically attracts an extra charge.


7. What are the advantages of a self-select ISA?

  • You have the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio.
  • You get greater control over the design and management of your portfolio.
  • Your entire portfolio and the dividends received in it are free of capital gains and additional income tax.
  • You pay no advice fee.

8. What are the disadvantages of a self-select ISA?

  • It can be quite risky for inexperienced investors.
  • You need to keep up to date with the markets, which can be tedious and time-consuming. 


If you are unsure about choosing a self-select ISA, it might be worth seeking independent financial advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser.

You might also like 🤓

  1. Compare Robo Advisors
  2. Compare Online Brokers
  3. Best Stocks and Shares ISAs
  4. Best Share Dealing Accounts
  5. Best Fund Providers
  6. Investing for Beginners
  7. Auto-Investing Apps

Credits

  1. The Lang Cat
  2. Gov.uk

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