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Best 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 investment platforms Who are the Which? Recommended Providers?
Should I choose the cheapest investment platform? Get top money-saving tips from Which? 

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. 

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

 

Some platforms cost far more than others. 

A small percentage difference can add up to thousands of pounds for a large portfolio. Crucially, fees apply whether your investments perform well or not.

You can compare investment platform fees here.

 

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?

Read our individual investment platform reviews to see what's on offer.

Or, if you're not sure what you should be investing in, read our beginner investors guide.

 

Tools

 

Do you want live investment news, calculators and tracking functionality?

If you're a confident investor and trade often, these tools can come in handy.

But if you've already got a portfolio of funds that you intend to leave for a few years, you could save on fees by going for a more no-frills platform.

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.

Our analysis contains customer ratings and fee analysis for huge names, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Vanguard, AJ Bell YouinvestFidelity, 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, join Which? and get full access to these results and all our reviews.

The best investment platforms

Our table ranks customer satisfaction for 11 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 77%

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

5 out of 5

Logged out detail 72%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 70%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 68%

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 67%

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 66%

5 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 64%

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 63%

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

2 out of 5

4 out of 5

 

4 out of 5

Logged out detail 60%

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 55%

3 out of 5

4 out of 5

-

3 out of 5

3 out of 5

Logged out detail 48%

2 out of 5

2 out of 5

2 out of 5

3 out of 5

2 out of 5

Source: Online survey of 1,896 members of the Which? Connect panel, conducted in February and March 2021. The customer score is based on satisfaction with the brand and likelihood to recommend.

Sample sizes for each platform as follows: Vanguard 66, AJ Bell Youinvest 129, Charles Stanley Direct 60, Halifax Share Dealing 107, Interactive Investor 276, Hargreaves Lansdown 855, Fidelity International 266, Close Brothers 40, HSBC 51, Bestinvest 45, Barclays Smart Investor 82. A (-) means sample size too small to give a star rating. In March 2021,

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?

 

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. 

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 fund buying scenario we reviewed.

Members can log in to see the results of our expert analysis. If you're not already a member, join Which? and get full access to these results and all our reviews

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. You'll also usually face dealing charges for trading funds and shares. 

If you're already investing via a platform, you could consider switching to boost your savings

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 an investment platform, 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. 

Get top money-saving tips from Which? 

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