Charles Stanley Direct Review

as of 17/03/2021 at 4:50 pm

Holly's View

Service remains strong and customers rate the call centre well. The problems lie with the site which is difficult to navigate and to find a path through - it's not as slick as some competitors. Fund research is deeply hidden – when you actually get there, it is all quite good. But the website can sometimes feel like a frustrating maze to get through. The firm has recently produced some good content to help beginner investors which is worth a look.

Our Rating

Recommended For

Beginner Investor

Confident Investor

In a nutshell

Good customer service

Wide choice of investments

Good fund research

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Your overall rating

Based on 128 reviews

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What to Expect

Investment Choice


Stocks and Shares ISA

Junior ISA

Investment Account


Investments available

Own brand funds

Funds from other groups

Stocks and shares

Ethical investments

Investment help

Robo advice / ready-made portfolios

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.

The platform is now a lot more accessible for less confident investors, with Charles Stanley having recently launched a 'New to Investing' campaign that provides more guidance and educational material to those who need it. The website navigation is constantly improving, which is vital considering the multiple fund choices and research options 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 £3bn

Minimum amounts: £50 minimum monthly payment
£500 minimum initial investment into a fund

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


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"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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