8 min Read
01 Sep 2016

Written by Damien

Damien is one of the most widely quoted money and investment experts in the national press and has made numerous radio & TV appearances. He created MoneytotheMasses.com while working in the City when he became disillusioned with the way the public were left to fend for themselves because they could not afford financial advice.

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The best investment platform

The best investment platform

The best investment platformWhen you are looking to invest in funds or stocks and shares you need to decide which investment platform to use. There are a number of leading investment fund platforms to choose from, all offering something different in the way of costs and services provided. If you are simply looking for the cheapest investment platform then read my article - The cheapest fund platform. In the article below I tell you the best investment platform (also known as a fund supermarket or fund platform) for different groups of investors looking to invest directly or within a Stocks and Shares ISA. If instead you are looking for the best investment platform for a SIPP or pension then read my article The best & cheapest SIPPs (Self Invested Personal Pension) – low cost DIY pensions. Click on the link below to jump to the relevant section:

What is an investment platform?

A DIY investment platform is an online administration hub where you can buy and sell a range of investments within the wider investment markets. Investment platforms are often referred to as fund supermarkets because they allow you to buy from a range of different products (such as investment funds and shares) much like a traditional supermarket sells a range of goods. The range of investments available and the costs will vary from platform to platform. Also, some investment platforms offer a range of tools to help you create model portfolios to manage your investment more easily.

How do I choose the best investment platform for me?

There are a few questions you should ask yourself before you choose the best investment platform for your particular circumstances. Below I run through the various things you need to consider when choosing an investment platform before showing you the best for each type of investor.

What are you planning to invest in?

Make sure the investment platform offers the range of investments that you want to invest in. Some investment platforms only offer a fairly small range of funds and investments, so make sure you fully research the range of investments available on each investment platform before committing.

Best investment platform for range of investmentsHargreaves Lansdown

Will you want to invest on a regular monthly basis?

The great thing about investing is that you can start from scratch and invest on a monthly basis. Even if you do have a sizeable sum waiting to invest you might want to do so gradually over time using a regular monthly savings plan. This can help smooth out the ups and downs of the stock market. Some investment platforms are better suited to regular monthly investing than others, particularly from the perspective of cost.

Best investment platform for monthly saversAJ Bell Youinvest

Will you need help creating an investment portfolio?

Some investment platforms create model portfolios to suit your risk profile. Instead of spending hours researching and selecting your own funds or shares you can just choose a suitable 'off the shelf' model portfolio that best suits your needs.

Best investment platform for model portfoliosMoneyfarm (lowest cost and will run your first £15,000 for free) NutmegHargreaves Lansdown, Fidelity

What investment tools do you think you will need?

The best investment platforms offer a range of clever tools that can help you create portfolios in line with your investment risk as well as tools such as smartphone apps to monitor your investments on the go.

Best investment platform for tools and researchHargreaves LansdownFidelity

Will you want to deal or switch funds regularly?

If you are going to actively manage your investments (i.e. make regular changes) then it makes sense to choose an investment platform with low dealing charges. There are a variety of charging structures used by investment platforms so make sure you read the small print and choose the one that suits your investment strategy.

Best investment platform for low dealing chargesCharles Stanley Direct

How much are you going to invest?

Some investment platforms, mainly due to their charging structure, are better suited to small investors (with under £50,000) while others favour investors with much larger sums. So if you are investing a smaller sum of money then choose the investment platform that fits with your investment amount. Equally if you have a significant sum of money you need to opt for an investment platform that charges fixed fees rather than a charge based on a percentage of your portfolio size. So read my full analysis of the the cheapest fund platform for portfolio sizes ranging from £10,000 to £1million.

Roundup - The best investment platform (fund supermarket)

As you can see from the above, choosing the best investment platform depends on your requirements. I provide a roundup of the best investment platforms below. However, If you are still undecided which is the best investment platform then you may be interested to know that from my experience the majority of investors who work in the City use Hargreaves Lansdown. The range of investment options, tools and research together with an  easy to use platform (they also have a great app!) are the reasons why it is the most popular investment platform in the UK.

Best investment platform for range of investments - Hargreaves Lansdown

Best investment platform for monthly saversAJ Bell Youinvest

Best investment platform for low dealing charges - Charles Stanley Direct

Best investment platform for tools and researchHargreaves LansdownFidelity

Best investment platform for model portfoliosMoneyfarm (lowest cost and will run your first £15,000 for free) Nutmeg, Hargreaves Lansdown, Fidelity

 

 

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