New investment cost comparison site launches

5 min Read Published: 24 Jan 2013

A new website has been launched which allows you to find the cheapest way to invest via fund platforms and discount brokers - based on the funds you choose.

The site called comparefundplatforms.com allows you to compare the cost of buying investments whether it be directly or within a Stocks and Shares ISA or a SIPP (self invested personal pension).

The comparison tool at present includes 6 platforms/brokers:

  • Alliance Trust Savings
  • Bestinvest
  • Cavendish Online
  • Club Finance
  • Interctive Investor
  • rPlan

with plans to add 5 more soon. But interestingly (and somewhat unsurprisingly) Hargreaves Lansdown have refused to provide data.

Is it any good?

For DIY investors who know the investment funds they want to buy it's a very useful tool. It also allows users to include generic charges for investing in ETFs and Investment Trusts. You simply input your desired investments and the tool will calculate the impact of each platform's charges on your investment returns in £'s.

The tool is not overly complex and its results are based on a number of assumptions, so the figures it produces are not guaranteed, but the site makes that clear (if somewhat overtly). But it is useful as a guide to the overall costs of buying investments for DIY investors (you can see a screenshot from a worked example below).

It's minor drawback at the moment is the small number of platforms or discount brokers it analyses, but this will grow in time I'm sure. But it is a step in the right direction and hopefully will help encourage a greater level of transparency among platforms and brokers, but don't hold your breathe.

So the site is useful for those investors who are driven by costs. But remember that for some investors it goes beyond simply who is the cheapest.  The availability and, perhaps more importantly, the quality of tools, research and customer service are also important criteria. The site makes a small nod in this direction by acknowledging whether some of these are offered by each platform but nothing beyond this. But overall the site is a welcome addition to the DIY investor toolkit.

 

 

Compare Fund Platforms: ISA

Wrapper Select Funds Shares? Assumptions
Your Assumptions:
The investment is held for 10 years within an ISA with an average annual return of 7% before charges and 4 fund switches each year. You are not holding any shares. Total initial investment is £2,000.

Platforms ranked by estimated total investment value after charges

 

Platform /
Discount Broker
Total
Value ?
Net
Cost ?
Average Fund Charges Main Platform Charges Features ? More Info ?
Initial ? Annual ? Setup ? Annual ? FundDeal ?
Cavendish Online
(Platform: FundsNetwork)
£3,518 1.19% 0.00% TER: 1.69%
Rebate: 0.50%
Net: 1.19%
Nil Nil Nil Tools:
Research:
Portfolios:
Mobile:
more
Club Finance
(Platform: James Brearley)
£3,452 1.39% 0.00% TER: 1.69%
Rebate: 0.65%
Net: 1.04%
Nil 0.35% Nil Tools:
Research:
Portfolios:
Mobile:
more
rPlan
(Platform: Cofunds)
£3,436 1.44% 0.00% TER: 1.69%
Rebate: 0.25%
Net: 1.44%
Nil Nil Nil Tools:
Research:
Portfolios:
Mobile:
more
Bestinvest
(Platform: SEI)
£3,436 1.44% 0.00% TER: 1.69%
Rebate: 0.25%
Net: 1.44%
Nil Nil Nil Tools:
Research:
Portfolios:
Mobile:
more
Interactive Investor
(Platform: Own/Cofunds)
£2,479 4.83% 0.00% TER: 1.69%
Rebate: 0.64%
Net: 1.05%
Nil £80.00 £10.00 Tools:
Research:
Portfolios:
Mobile:
more
Our Assumptions:
Where rebates are paid they're assumed to offset annual fund charges, in practice the rebate may be held in a cash account and require manual re-investment. Fund switches and share deals spread evenly over a year, share deals ignore stamp duty and PTM levy. Platform charges displayed annually and applied monthly proportionately between funds and shares, frequency and application may be different in practice. All fund charges are supplied by respective platforms and assumed to be correct - on occasion they may not be.

Net total annual charges of funds selected after any rebates

 

Fund Amount Bestinvest Cavendish Online Club Finance Interactive Investor rPlan
Invesco Perpetual High Income £1,000 1.43% 1.19% 1.04% 1.05% 1.44%
Invesco Perpetual Income £1,000 1.44% 1.18% 1.04% 1.04% 1.43%

 

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