Charles Stanley Direct Review

as of 06/06/2019 at 3:41 pm

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

In a nutshell

Good customer service

Wide choice of investments

Good fund research

You Say

Your overall rating

Based on 70 reviews

View all reviews

What to Expect

Investment Choice


Stocks and Shares ISA

Junior ISA

Investment Account


Investments available

Own brand funds

Stocks and shares

Investment help

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

"We currently have around £135k in a Scottish Mortgage fund with Baillie Gifford. We’ve received a letter stating that they plan to transfer us to Hargreaves Lansdown who will charge the same fees as Baillie Gifford for 3 years. Is this a good idea or should we look elsewhere? Should we consider Charles Stanley Direct, for example? Matthew"

Matthew, London


Read our reply

"Where can I get a good Junior ISA?"

Rebeccah, Greater London


Read our reply

"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


Read our reply

If you like this provider, we think you might like

You Say

We Say

The Detail

You Say

We Say

The Detail

Sign up for Holly's blog

Stay up to date

Our free weekly blog with Holly's
no-nonsense opinions, tips & food for thought.
If you change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time.