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Best and worst investment platforms

How do you find the best investment platform for customer service? Our exclusive survey reveals what users think of their provider - and how much they're paying.

In this article
How do I choose an investment platform? The best and worst investment platforms Who are the Which? Recommended Providers?
How does Which? calculate its scores? Should I choose the cheapest investment platform?

How do I choose an investment platform?

When you want to invest your money without the help of a financial adviser, it's likely you'll need the services of an investment platform (often referred to as fund supermarkets).

These are one-stop online shops that allow you to buy and sell funds, shares and bonds, and manage your investment accounts, be they Junior Isas, Stocks and Shares Isas, or self-invested personal pensions

To pick the best platform for you, consider the following:

  • Fees. As we demonstrate, some platforms cost far more than others.
  • Investments. Do you want to buy company shares, or invest in a wide range of funds? Or do you want ready-made portfolios for beginners?
  • Tools. Do you want live investment news, calculators and tracking functionality?

We've asked thousands of real users of major investment platforms to rate their services across a range of aspects, from customer service and online functionality to clarity of charges and value for money.

And using this information we've created a Which? customer score, showing you the best and worst investment platforms for customer satisfaction. 

Our analysis contains ratings for huge names, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Vanguard, AJ Bell, Fidelity, Halifax Share Dealing and many more investment platforms.

Members can log in to see the results of our analysis. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up to a one month trial for Which? Money for just £1 to access this review, along with thousands of others, and enjoy the benefits of a Which? membership.

The best and worst investment platforms

Our table ranks the customer satisfaction for 13 of the biggest investment platforms in the UK. Click on each individual provider to read our full review, including a breakdown of their charges and testimonials from real customers. 

Investment platform undefined Online tools Customer service Investment information Available investments meet my needs Value for money
Logged out detail 88%

5 out of 5

-

3 out of 5

5 out of 5

5 out of 5

Logged out detail 77%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 70%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

2 out of 5

5 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 70%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

2 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 69%

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 67%

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

2 out of 5

Logged out detail 67%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 65%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 62%

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

-

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 60% - - - - -
Logged out detail 57%

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

2 out of 5

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 53%

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

2 out of 5

Logged out detail 48%

3 out of 5

2 out of 5

2 out of 5

4 out of 5

2 out of 5

Source: Online survey of 1,449 members of the Which? Connect panel, conducted in February and March 2020.

The customer score is based on satisfaction with the brand and likelihood to recommend.

Sample sizes for each platform as follows: Vanguard 48, AJ Bell Youinvest 94, Charles Stanley Direct 50, Halifax Share Dealing 110, Interactive Investor 178, Hargreaves Lansdown 642, The Share Centre 87, Fidelity International 174, Selftrade (EQi) 42, Close Brothers 30, HSBC InvestDirect 50, Bestinvest 47, Barclays Smart Investor 68. A (-) means sample size too small to give a star rating.

Who are the Which? Recommended Providers?

Which? only awards its coveted Recommended Provider status to the companies that offer top-quality service and great value.

 

How do we pick Which? Recommended Providers?

 

In the investment platform market, price matters. Costs are a guaranteed drag on your investment portfolio, and so our Recommended Providers mustn’t be in the top three platforms for charges, based on any scenario we reviewed. 

A platform must have received at least a 70% customer rating, and not received below-average scores on any of the underlying criteria, such as customer service, investment information or the quality of its online tools. 

Members can log in to see the results of our expert analysis. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up to a one month trial for Which? Money for just £1 to access this review, along with thousands of others, and enjoy the benefits of a Which? membership.

How does Which? calculate its scores?

The customer score is based on a survey of 1,449 Which? Connect Panel members, carried out in February and March 2020, and is worked using a combination overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending the provider to a friend.

If two or more brands show the same overall score, they are considered tied. As noted above, fees are only considered when picking Which? Recommended Providers.

Only platforms with at least 30 respondents are included.

Should I choose the cheapest investment platform?

While customer satisfaction is a crucial factor in selecting the right investment platform for your needs, costs matter. 

Investment platforms have a range of charges, from fixed, pounds and pence fees to a percentage charge, based on the amount you have invested. Some combine the two.

We've crunched the numbers to show you in pounds and pence how much you'll pay for a range of portfolio sizes. Find out more in our guide to investment platform charges. 

And if you're planning to take an income from your pension using a drawdown plan via a fund supermarket, we've done the hard work for you. We've compared pension drawdown charges for more than 20 companies, including many of the investment platforms featured in our analysis here. 

 

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