What we say
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Interactive Investor is on a growth mission, gobbling up smaller trading firms. Most recently The Share Centre with rumours of more to come. This fixed fee platform will be largely unbeatable on price for those with about £50k - £75k and above. The research on funds and shares is strong and getting better. But behind the scenes it still doesn’t hang together as smoothly as we’d like and it’s a bit clunkier than some competitors. The website and app lag the better platforms out there and need some TLC. It ultimately comes down to what you value and what you are prepared to pay.
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Ease of use
The site has become slightly less text heavy and more visual and colourful as a result of the new branding, but it still has a fair amount of jargon so prepare yourself for that! The portfolio display page online lacks some of the good information available on many – it all works OK, but it’s flat and dry. Behind the scenes it all works OK but the links from research to portfolio view to trade are not as smooth as with some.
Mobile and Apps
The mobile app is cleaner and easier to use than the desktop site and there is two-factor authentication as well. Users are able to research, trade and add money to their portfolio which is not common across all apps - there's good depth. There are features to appeal to those who trade regularly such as watchlists and in-depth market research. OK to use for the average retail investor, but would appeal more to experienced investors.
Behind the scenes
The fund research is outsourced to Morningstar which is fine if undistinguished. It’s been coded and designed by a linear thinker and is bare but functional which some will like. Trading is straightforward enough and a nice feature is that a graph and key data is shown to the right of the screen as you enter the share’s name and trade instruction. This service is still more comfortable with shares than funds. They have a helpful price alert which will notify users of changes to specific investments they are tracking.
Stocks and Shares ISA
Funds from other groups
Stocks and shares
Includes a shortlist of investments
Pick your own funds
Pick your own shares
The 'Geeky' Details
Interactive Investor is one of the few groups that has a fixed £ fee, rather than a %. They have 3 different price plans, with the standard plan costing £9.99 per month for an ISA, which also includes one free trade per month. This makes it much cheaper for larger portfolios, but expensive for smaller ones. If you have more than about £60,000 or you regularly buy and sell shares, the costs advantage will usually kick in. In July 2020 Interactive Investor acquired The Share Centre, following their acquisition of Alliance Trust Savings in July 2019.
This makes them one of the largest groups in the market, second only to Hargreaves Lansdown. If you know what you're doing, have a larger portfolio and don't really give a toss about bells and whistles, it's worth a look. Having said that the app is really nice. There is a wide range of investments from which to choose. It's likely to suit more confident investors and those more interested in share dealing. Interactive Investor are currently waiving their SIPP fees for 6 months, for anyone who opens a new ii pension.
Important Facts & Figures
The second-largest platform for investors, administering over £30bn of investments.
£25 monthly minimum contribution to qualify for free regular investing service
£0 minimum initial amount