Many (or all) of the products on our website are from our partners who compensate us for writing about them. However, this does not influence what or how we write.

Interactive Investor Review

Updated On:
September 23, 2022
Visit Interactive Investor
Double-chevron pointing right
Interactive Investor Review - Read Reviews, Compare Alternatives

Please note: As with all investments, your capital is at risk.

Contents:

1. What is Interactive Investor?

Interactive Investor, recently acquired by wealth management giant abrdn, is the second-largest investment platform in the UK.

Interactive Investor is well known for its fixed charges (as opposed to percentage-based fees like most other investment platforms), and it has been providing investment services and financial information since 1995.

If you choose to invest with Interactive Investor, you’ll gain access to over 40,000 investment options, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. This is the widest choice of UK and international investments offered by any investment platform in the UK. 

You will also be able to access 17 global exchanges, including exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. These include markets such as the FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE All-Share, NASDAQ, Dow Jones and more.

In addition to the exchanges above, Interactive Investor offers Japanese, Indian and Chinese shares in the form of ADRs (American Depositary Receipts).

Here is a breakdown of the number of assets in some of the popular investment categories on Interactive Investor:

  1. Stocks - 12,336
  2. Funds - 3908
  3. ITs - 483
  4. ETFs - 2141

Interactive Investor also gives you access to various investment ideas and ready-made portfolios, which can be particularly useful to investors at all levels:

  1. Quick-start funds (Excellent for beginners) - Six low-cost index and sustainable funds by Vanguard and BMO.
  2. Super 60 (Excellent for both experienced and beginner investors) - The top 60 Interactive Investor rated funds and ETFs.
  3. ACE 40 (Best for ethical investing) - A list of 40 ethical funds, investment trusts (ITs) and ETFs.
  4. Model portfolios (Excellent for beginners) - Five active and tracker funds managed by Morningstar.
  5. Investment pathways (Good for those in retirement) - Four low-cost funds for investing your pension drawdown fund in retirement.

With Interactive Investor, you can open eight types of accounts:

  1. Stocks and shares ISA - A tax-free investment account with a trading limit of £20,000 for the current tax year.
  2. Trading account - A taxable account without trading limits.
  3. SIPP - A private pension account.
  4. Junior ISA - A tax-free investment account for children with a trading limit of £9,000 for the current tax year.
  5. Joint trading account - A trading account which can be held and managed by two people.
  6. Company account - A trading account for UK limited companies.
  7. Pension trading account - A trading account that allows you to manage your SIPP or SSAS held with other providers on Interactive Investor.
  8. Cash savings account - A cash savings account that gives you access to competitive interest rates from 25+ banks.

Interactive Investor also offers a free regular investing service that allows you to invest regularly without paying a dealing fee each time. However, the regular investing service is only available for companies on the FTSE 350 and many popular investment trusts and ETFs. Regular investing, unfortunately, does not cover investments in companies traded on international exchanges or instruments that are not traded in GBP. This means that if you bought a US stock, for example, you would have to pay a dealing fee each time you place a trade.

To learn more about regular investing or other services, visit ii’s website.

2. Interactive Investor Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Interactive Investor:

Pros Cons
  • Low cost for large portfolios (£50,000 or more).
  • Very high cost for very small portfolios (£20,000 or less).
  • One free trade every month.
  • All trades after the first incur a dealing fee.
  • Over 40,000 investments to choose from.
  • Regular investing is only available for companies on the FTSE 350 and a large number of popular investment trusts and ETFs.
  • Clear, transparent fees.
  • Real-time bid and offer prices.
  • Excellent for online trading.
  • 3. Is Interactive Investor any Good?

    Interactive Investor is one of the best trading platforms in the UK at the moment because it offers the most exhaustive depth and breadth of investment options on the market.

    When you log on to your Interactive Investor account, it feels like you’ve entered a world of endless possibilities. You have access to extensive investment research, news, in-depth company financials, stock performance data (from as early as the first month the stock ever traded) and thousands of investments ranging from stocks, funds and ETFs to ITs and more complex investment options.

    Within your account, you can access live stock prices. Unlike some other platforms we’ve reviewed, the live stock prices on Interactive Investor almost always mirror what you find on Google Finance or Morningstar. This means you can invest confidently without worrying about the platform eating into your profits with unrealistic market spreads. 

    Since you can open up to eight accounts, including business investment accounts, tax-free personal investment accounts and general trading accounts, Interactive Investor is, to us, an excellent option for anyone who has a reasonable amount of money to invest and plans to take investing seriously.

    Interactive Investor also offers iOS and Android mobile apps and a web interface which are relatively easy to use compared to other platforms we’ve reviewed.

    One word of caution about Interactive Investor will be to steer clear if you plan to invest a small amount of money, like £100 a month. The minimum monthly fixed fee of £9.99 alone would leave such a massive dent in your investment returns (if you make any) that it wouldn’t be worth it. It might be worthwhile to consider using a free platform such as InvestEngine or Freetrade if you plan to invest very small amounts.

    Have a look at our Investment Platform Charges or Trading Platform Charges comparison tables to see how Interactive Investor’s charges stack up against its peers’.

    4. What Are Interactive Investor's Fees?

    Here are Interactive Investor's fees:

    There are three subscription plans to choose from:

    1. Investor Plan - £9.99 per month - All the basics.
      This plan gives you access to a trading account, ISA, and as many Junior ISAs as you have children. It also comes with one free trade (funds or shares), free regular investing, and for an extra £10 a month, you can add a SIPP. Additional trades are £5.99 per trade.
    2. Pension Builder - £12.99 per month -  A simple, low-cost SIPP.
      This plan gives you access to a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and the same full range of investment options as the Investor plan. The plan also comes with free regular investing, but there is no free trade. Trades are £5.99 per trade.
    3. Super Investor - £19.99 per month - Lowest trading fees.
      This plan gives you access to a trading account, ISA, and as many Junior ISAs as you have children. It also comes with two free trades (funds or shares), free regular investing, and free Friends and Family (which allows you to invite others to invest through your plan without paying a monthly fee). Additional trades are £5.99 per trade, and for an extra £10 a month, you can add a SIPP.
    4. Regular Investing Service: Free

    Click here for a more detailed breakdown of Interactive Investor’s rates and charges. 

    5. How Do You Trade on Interactive Investor?

    To trade on Interactive Investor, you need to do the following:

    1. Sign up through the mobile app or web interface.
    2. Fill in your personal information, including your home address and national insurance number, to create an account.
    3. Once your account is created, you can fund it with your debit card or set up a direct debit for regular investing.
    4. Navigate to the research tab to familiarise yourself with all names or ticker symbols of the assets you want to trade.
    5. Navigate to the trading tab and select “Trade Now”.
    6. Enter the name and quantity of the asset you want to buy or sell.
    7. Fill in any other relevant information, and start trading.
    8. To learn more about Interactive Investor's trading account, click here.

    6. Is Interactive Investor Good for Beginners?

    Yes, Interactive Investor is good for beginners. If you are a new investor and want a simple, hands-off approach to investing, Interactive Investor’s Quick-Start Funds (six low-cost index and sustainable funds by Vanguard and BMO) or Model Portfolios (five active and tracker funds managed by Morningstar) could be right for you. These portfolios are ready-made baskets of investments, which save you the trouble of picking individual stocks, bonds or other assets yourself. 

    If you prefer a hands-on DIY approach to investing, Interactive Investor has tens of thousands of stocks, funds, ETFs, and other investments which you can select from and use to build your own portfolio.

    7. Is Interactive Investor Expensive?

    No, Interactive Investor is not expensive if your portfolio is over £50,000 and you make about four trades a month or make use of the regular investing service. Since Interactive Investor charges a flat fee as opposed to a percentage of your portfolio as other platforms do, you know exactly how much you’ll be paying each month and do not have to worry about the platform fees increasing as the value of your portfolio increases.

    That said, Interactive Investor can be prohibitively expensive if you have a very small portfolio, say £3,500, and trade very frequently.

    Use our Investment Platform Charges or Trading Platform Charges comparison tables to see how Interactive Investor’s charges stack up against its peers’.

    Click here for an even more detailed breakdown of Interactive Investor’s rates and charges.

    8. Is Interactive Investor Regulated by the FCA?

    Yes, Interactive Investor is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Have a look at its permissions on the FCA Register.

    9. Is Interactive Investor Safe?

    Yes, Interactive Investor is safe. Interactive Investor is as safe as any other regulated investment platform or stock broker in the UK. Interactive Investor is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Have a look at its regulatory permissions on the FCA Register.

    Additionally, when you invest with Interactive Investor, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to a maximum of £85,000. This means you might be able to get your money back up to £85,000 if Interactive Investor goes bust. Please keep in mind that the FSCS does not cover losses arising from the performance of any of your investments.

    10. How Do I Open an Account With Interactive Investor?

    To open an account with Interactive Investor, visit its website.

    11. Alternatives to Interactive Investor

    Alternatives to Interactive Investor in the UK include Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell Youinvest, Freetrade and FinecoBank UK.

    Hargreaves Lansdown

    Hargreaves Lansdown has thousands of investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. Choose your own investments with expert research and ideas to help you, or simply pick a ready-made portfolio. Manage via its website, app or phone.‍

    Visit: Hargreaves Lansdown

    See: Hargreaves Lansdown Review

    AJ Bell Youinvest

    AJ Bell Youinvest has thousands of investments for you to choose from, including shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. And you can manage them online or with its mobile app. If you need help choosing, it has four ready-made portfolios and other investment ideas.

    Visit: AJ Bell Youinvest


    Koody Man with Laptop

    Subscribe to The Plug

    Every month, we'll send you The Plug - a curation of the best personal finance content in the UK. We share real-life stories, how-to guides, top personal finance news, popular community questions, and tips to help you stay on top of your money.

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Error: This email cannot be added because it may already be on our list. Please enter a different email address.

    Read The Plug