Charles Stanley Direct Review

as of 26/02/2019 at 10:46 am

Holly's View

This is an example of a service which has steadily improved and is competitively priced – although not as low as it once was! The language and content has been made easier for a less confident investor although the initial landing page dashboard is fairly daunting. The service is good, choice is plentiful and the research (once you find it!) is helpful. A solid contender for many people who can see beyond complex dashboards and the more than occasional slip into jargon.

Our Rating

Recommended For

Confident Investor

In a nutshell

Good customer service

Wide choice of investments

Good fund research

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Your overall rating

Based on 68 reviews

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Charles Stanley Direct

Charles Stanley Direct offers a range of options for both ‘DIY’ investors and those wishing to be less ‘hands on’.

Confident investors can select from thousands of investment shares and funds. Our Foundation Fundlist of preferred investments can be helpful for those looking to generate ideas.

For those unsure and wanting to get started quickly our Foundation Portfolios offer low cost and convenient options to get going.

Investment newbies can consider a Charles Stanley managed investment, continually monitored by our experts, giving extra peace of mind.


Invest your way

Whichever option you decide you’ll be taking advantage of our exceptionally competitive charges, ability to manage and monitor investments online or through our app, and award winning, friendly customer service from our Edinburgh helpdesk.

Investment options are available in our ISA, Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and Investment accounts. We also offer Junior ISAs for children.

Invest lump sums, monthly from £50, or transfer existing ISAs, pensions and other investments to see more of them in one place.

About Charles Stanley Direct

Charles Stanley & Co. Limited is one of the oldest firms on the London Stock Exchange with roots dating back to 1792. Today, it is one of the leading investment management companies in the UK.

Charles Stanley Direct combines the safety, security and heritage of Charles Stanley Group with the online tools, options and great value demanded by the modern online investor.

The price of shares and other investments, and the income derived from them, may fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest.

More about Charles Stanley Direct

What to Expect

Investment Choice


Stocks and Shares ISA

Junior ISA

Investment Account


Investments available

Own brand funds

Stocks and shares

Investment help

Robo advice / ready-made portfolios

Help building a portfolio

Includes a shortlist of investments

Pick your own funds

Pick your own shares

The 'Geeky' Details

Provider details

Charles Stanley Direct is a relatively cheap way to invest for those with less than £50,000 to invest, at 0.35% per year, plus any fund management costs. There are no fund dealing charges, so for investors putting small amounts into a few different funds on a monthly basis it is low cost. You can also buy company shares. There is also an annual £120 fee for a pension for investors holding less than £30,000 on the platform.

It will be a bit overwhelming for less confident investors who have a huge range of investments to navigate and not that much help with any filters. There is lots of choice and research available. The so-called Foundation Fund list shows their favourite funds which is useful. There is also a range of all-in-one funds – the Charles Stanley Multi Asset Funds – for those that want all the investment done for them. These are active funds which are relatively pricey in comparison to passive options.

Expect to pay about 1% all-in for a self-selected ‘active’ portfolio – this is good value. It’s worth considering for Junior ISAs too.

Important Facts & Figures

Provider Size:

Mid-sized investment platform administering around £2.5bn

Minimum amounts: £50 minimum monthly payment (£100 for pensions)
£500 minimum initial investment into a fund
12 month indicative performance:

Charles Stanley Direct's fund range has less than one-year track record.

Your Questions

"Where can I get a good Junior ISA?"

Rebeccah, Greater London


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"Following the announcement of the platform increase at Charles Stanley Direct I think this is an ideal time to review my finances. My ISA started out with 100% in St James's Place, but following new investments and transfers over the last 3 years, I currently have about two thirds of my ISA in funds with Charles Stanley Direct and about one third left with St James's Place. Having outperformed the St James's Place funds with my own choices, I was planning on transferring the remaining one third to Charles Stanley Direct. However the recent announcement in platform price increases at Charles Stanley Direct is making me have a serious re-think. Having less than 250K invested, it seems to put me in the worst position possible, with the 40% increase in platform fees. I also have a private pension that I transferred to St James's Place, and I contribute a small amount into it monthly. Would I be correct in thinking the fees are also high on this, and I could do better elsewhere? Can I transfer into an SIPP for example? I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts."

Gerry, Bedfordshire


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"Hi, I've got an old D.B. pension, approximate value £12k. I would like to invest & top up each month. Who would you recommend? Also I would like to make an investment, & don't know where to start? Thanks"



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