Warning: reading this page may cause you to lose the will to live!

Comparing charges across providers can be tricky as each provider has a different set of fees and the way they apply their fees differ.  As a result, we have detailed below the core assumptions we have used in order to compare charges across platforms. We apologise in advance for the complexity of this – don’t shoot the messenger!

Overall assumptions

  • All charges relate to the annual cost, with no investment growth. Fees are assumed to be taken out of a separate cash balance, with no effect on the investment value.
  • The platform charges represent the administration fee only as we do not know what investments you will put in your accounts.
  • The robo adviser charges include both admin and investments and so may look relatively pricier – but we’re not comparing like with like.
  • For all providers, admin charges are assumed to be taken on a monthly basis, with the total charge an accumulation of 12 monthly charges.
  • Charges do not include any temporary promotions i.e. discounts on fees for a fixed initial period.
  • Share trades include other investments traded on an exchange such as investment trusts, ETFs and bonds.
  • Robo-advisers are included under funds rather than shares and therefore will not show if the user selects that they hold shares. 
  • Share trading fees do not include stamp duty or the PTM levy.
  • Where a user selects a combination of accounts, the number of trades given is the total trades made across all accounts. 
    • For example, if a user says they hold an ISA and a SIPP and they make 5 trades a year, the calculator assumes this is the total trades made across both accounts.
    • Where trading commissions differ across accounts, the most expensive trading commission will be used.
  • Where a user selects a combination of accounts, the fund/shares split applies proportionately across all accounts.
    • For example, if someone selects the following:
      • £50k invested
      • 50% ISA, 50% SIPP (£25k each account)
      • 50% funds, 50% shares
    • The calculator will assume the following:
      • ISA: £12.5K invested in funds, £12.5k invested in shares
      • SIPP: £12.5K invested in funds, £12.5k invested in shares


Default trading assumptions

To keep the calculator as simple as possible, we created default trading assumptions based on average investor behaviour according to portfolio sizes.

You can override these to make them bespoke to you, if you would like.

Fund trading assumptions:

  • Less than £10k invested in funds: 1 trade
  • £10k to £50k investment in funds: 2 trades
  • £50k to £100k investment in funds: 4 trades
  • £100k to £250k investment in funds: 6 trades
  • Over £250k investment in funds: 8 trades


Share trading assumptions:

  • Less than £10k invested in shares: 1 trade
  • £10k to £50k invested in shares: 2 trades
  • £50k to £100k invested in shares: 4 trades
  • £100k to £250k invested in shares: 6 trades
  • Over £250k invested in shares: 8 trades


Individual provider assumptions

  • AJ Bell YouinvestFrequent trading pricing is based on yearly trades rather than the previous month.
  • Alliance Trust SavingsLoyalty trading discounts have not been applied.
  • Charles Stanley DirectYearly share trades assumed to be split across the year. If share trades are less than 12 then trades=x, and 1 trade will be charged in each of the first x months. Therefore, the share admin charge will be waived in the first x months of the year. If share trades are > 12 then at least 1 trade is assumed to be made each calendar month, therefore no share admin fee is paid across the year.
  • Hargreaves LansdownShare trading discounts applied based on yearly share trades rather than previous month. If a user has multiple accounts, where one account is a JISA and also trades shares, then the share trades are assumed to not apply to the JISA and therefore incur a standard fee of £11.95 rather than £5.95.
  • Interactive InvestorTrades are assumed to be split across the year and used against a yearly trading credit of £95.88 (£7.99 x 12).
  • iWebOpening fee of £25 is not included. 
  • NutmegWe have used the Fully Managed portfolios. Other portfolios have not been included.
  • VanguardOnly included for funds and not shares.
  • All other providers - No additional assumptions.

If you wish to see the core charges across all the providers in our calculator, click here.  

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